We need a strong, independent Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

Dear Premier Ford:

We are writing to express our grave concern that your government is reportedly poised to eliminate the office of Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO).

For over twenty-five years, Ontario citizens have greatly benefitted from relying on the ECO as an independent, non-partisan officer of the Legislature to hold all governments accountable for their decisions and efforts in protecting Ontarian’s vast and unparalleled environment. Ontario has one of the richest natural and environmental legacies in the world, with most of the Great Lakes bordering our province, with vast portions of the world’s critical boreal forests, and with beautiful lakes and rivers in which Ontarians paddle, boat, fish, swim, cottage and drink. Ensuring the sustainability and health of our natural environment is critically important to Ontario’s identity, culture and economy. Actions which hold polluters accountable is essential, as you have noted in your own remarks in recent months.

Over the years, the ECO has produced numerous in-depth reports on key issues facing Ontario, from climate change to endangered species. This kind of independent, clear-eyed analysis of the impact and effectiveness of government actions and policies is critically important and very valuable in highlighting whether government actions are resulting in reduced environmental risks or not. We are facing a combined climate and biodiversity crisis and growing impacts on human health. We need the kind of quality evidence-based recommendations – and environmental accountability — that the ECO has regularly produced now more than ever.

In our view, eliminating the ECO is contrary to these environmental protection objectives. Since 1993, the ECO and its specialized staff have informed and empowered Ontarians to effectively exercise their legal rights under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) to safeguard the environment and public health and safety. In addition, the annual and special reports filed by the ECO have flagged opportunities to improve and strengthen Ontario’s environmental safety net.

Therefore, we collectively call on your government to ensure that the ECO continues to exist as a stand-alone, independent office with all of its powers, duties and responsibilities intact under the EBR. We therefore call on you not to proceed with the revisions proposed in schedule 15 to Bill 57 which eliminate the stand-alone office of the ECO. We would appreciate an opportunity to meet with you urgently to further discuss and describe the importance of the ECO role to all Ontarians and Ontario’s natural environment.

To endorse this statement, sign the petition below.

You can also contact your MPP directly to urge them to restore a strong and independent Environmental Commissioner’s office.

We need a strong, independent Environmental Commissioner for Ontario

I support retaining a strong and independent Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. We need an Environmental Commissioner with the freedom to report on critical environmental issues and how government is addressing these. Please restore a fully independent office of the Environmental Commissioner.

**your signature**

4,868 signatures

Share this with your friends:

   

Latest Signatures
4,868 Peter White Belmont Lake Cottagers' Association Dec 13, 2018
4,867 H Douglass Dec 13, 2018
4,866 Sandra Koivusalo Crowe Lake Waterway Association Dec 13, 2018
4,865 RUTH THOMPSON Dec 13, 2018
4,864 Hannah Freedberg Dec 13, 2018
4,863 Anne Borschneck Dec 12, 2018
4,862 Ted Hancocks Paint Lake RP Association Dec 12, 2018
4,861 Keith Gordon Foca Dec 12, 2018
4,860 Susan Stella Property owner on lake and lake steward Dec 12, 2018
4,859 Lauren King Dec 12, 2018
4,858 Barry Hodgson? Public Review Committee, City Kawartha Lakes Dec 12, 2018
4,857 Bryce Taylor Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Association Dec 12, 2018
4,856 Rachel Christensen Dec 12, 2018
4,855 Steffen Pauls Dec 12, 2018
4,854 Miriam Berlin Dec 12, 2018
4,853 Elsie Neufeld Dec 12, 2018
4,852 Michael Craig MJC Safety Dec 12, 2018
4,851 Ysabeault d'Valar-Alba Dec 12, 2018
4,850 Ann Petrant Whanapetie lake assc Dec 12, 2018
4,849 Nathan Bylok Dec 12, 2018
4,848 Sally Palmer Woods Dec 12, 2018
4,847 Jack Horsley Dec 12, 2018
4,846 Mathie Smith Dec 11, 2018
4,845 Carla Coveart Dec 11, 2018
4,844 Cailin MacMillan Queen's University Dec 11, 2018
4,843 L D Dec 11, 2018
4,842 Riley Scanlan Lane Dec 11, 2018
4,841 Deyana Sameh Dec 11, 2018
4,840 Daniela Jansson Dec 11, 2018
4,839 Robert Bauer Dec 11, 2018
4,838 Janice MacKillican Lead It Teams Inc Dec 11, 2018
4,837 Sandy Greenberg Dec 11, 2018
4,836 Catherine Brown Green Sanctuary First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto Dec 11, 2018
4,835 Katherine Owsiacki Dec 11, 2018
4,834 Brian & Irene Smale ALPA Dec 11, 2018
4,833 ROBERT MACLACHLAN South Shore Yachts Dec 11, 2018
4,832 Peter Wilson property owner on Lake Simcoe Dec 11, 2018
4,831 Bert Campbell FOCA Dec 11, 2018
4,830 Judith Kennedy Kennebec Lake Association Dec 11, 2018
4,829 Terence Kennedy FOCA Dec 11, 2018
4,828 Michael Farrell Dec 11, 2018
4,827 wendy Lambie Dec 11, 2018
4,826 Mary Duncan N/A Dec 11, 2018
4,825 ALBA BUSHBY Dec 11, 2018
4,824 Kathy Jones Dec 11, 2018
4,823 Richard Denton Greater Sudbury Watershed Alliance Dec 11, 2018
4,822 Peter Sharpe Dec 11, 2018
4,821 Dorinda Taylor Dec 11, 2018
4,820 Barbara Webb Dec 11, 2018
4,819 Barry Willhelm KlCOA Dec 11, 2018