Ontario Avoided Public Consultation When Making Environmental Decisions: Auditor General
In one case, the Department of Environment, Conservation and Parks had avoided consulting the public on significant changes to the Environmental Assessment Act and the Conservation Authorities Act. The ministry did not keep the environmental registry up to date with changes related to the EBR.
In another case, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing failed to consult the public about amendments to the Planning Act that strengthened the minister’s power to issue zoning by-laws.
The report further revealed that the lack of training and supervision of staff contributed to the continued non-compliance of ministries with ineffective implementation of the CRC. In addition, some ministries did not provide educational programs to raise public awareness of their rights under the CRC.
“These results indicate a lack of commitment on the part of the prescribed ministries not only to meet the requirements of the CRC in a technical manner, but also to consistently meet those requirements in a manner that achieves the objectives of the CRC and respects the rights of Ontarians, ”the report said in Lysyk.
“In our 2020 report, we recommended it. . . the cabinet secretary integrates compliance with the EBR into annual performance reviews of deputy ministers; we will act on this recommendation in 2022, ”added Lysyk.