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Ontario Government

The Ford government has a strong focus on economic development and employment and has taken numerous actions that reduce environmental protections. Some of this is summarized in the Auditor General’s 2021 and 2020 reports, see below:

2021 Auditor General of Ontario Report on the Ministry of Environment Conservation & Parks (“MECP”)

The Auditor General has followed up their 2020 report (below) with an audit of MECP that highlights a comprehensive disregard for the environment:

  • Multiple deficiencies in the operation and application of the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR), including:
    • circumvention of public consultation requirements, particularly on major legislative and regulation changes
    • inappropriate application of Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs) – issuing as many MZOs since 2019 as had been issued in the previous 30 years
    • the 16 other ministries that are required to comply with the EBR are also non-compliant 
  • Allowing industry a virtual free pass on Hazardous Spills through a failure to ensure and enforce compliance
  • Failure to do anything meaningful on Waste Reduction
  • Together with the Natural Resources and Agriculture ministries, virtually no Public Reporting on the state of the environment
  • Last, but not least, a complete failure to protect Species at Risk by rubber stamping developers’ applications to destroy habitat (including at Macey Bay), as this table shows all too clearly:

More information on the destruction of species at risk habitat at Macey Bay and the MECP approval of the two inadequate sewage systems at Macey Bay and Brandy’s Cove can be found here

Please find below links to a summary of the report and the sections of the full report:

Additional Resources:

2020 Auditor General of Ontario Report on Environmental Value-for-Money Audits and the Operation of the Environmental Bill of Rights

The Auditor General for Ontario (AGO) took over the responsibilities of the Environment Commissioner after the Ford government cancelled that post. If the Ford government thought that this would lead to less (official) criticism of their environmental policies, it backfired. Following publicly criticizing the government for not following the required process under the EBR for changes to the Environmental Assessment Act, the AGO’s annual Report of Environmental Value-for-Money Audits and the Operation of the Environmental Bill of Rights was sharply critical of the Ford administration’s performance across the board. The deficiencies demonstrate clearly the low priority that this Ontario government affords to environmental protection and how it has attempted to stifle public input by either cancelling it outright or providing the shortest times possible to respond to EBR postings. It is vital for protecting Georgian Bay that we are able to provide this input on projects and policies that could impact our environment, so the AGO report was most welcome.

Here are some extracts from the AGO Annual Report of Environmental Value-for-Money Audits and the Operation of the Environmental Bill of Rights:


Reducing Environmental Protections

GBA has been working closely with our ENGO partners and making direct submissions, as appropriate, to object to these actions and ask for environmental protections to be restored and/or strengthened. Below are links to the various GBA submissions: 

and GBA posts:

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