The Ministry of Education (EDU) is one of 15 Ontario ministries that is required under the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR) to include the public in its environmentally significant decision making. Click on a heading below to learn about the Ministry of Education and its EBR requirements and performance.
The Ministry of Education (EDU) administers the system of publicly funded elementary and secondary school education in Ontario. The ministry has committed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills required to be environmentally responsible citizens.
Statement of Environmental Values
Each ministry that is prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) is required to develop a Statement of Environmental Values to guide ministry staff when making decisions that might significantly affect the environment. Read the Statement of Environmental Values of the Ministry of Education (EDU).
Public Notice and Consultation
Each ministry that is prescribed under the EBR is required to consult the public on certain environmentally significant proposals via the Environmental Registry. Specifically, the EDU must give notice of, and consult on, any proposal to make or amend a policy or act that could have a significant effect on the environment.
Applications for Review
Under the EBR, members of the public can ask the Ministry of Education to review the need for a new environmental policy, act or regulation. In addition, the public may ask the ministry to review any of the EDU's existing environmental policies.
The Ministry of Education is required to consider all such requests, and to respond within 60 days of receiving the application to let both the applicants and the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario know whether or not it will undertake the requested review.
Applications for Investigation
Under the EBR, members of the public can ask certain ministries to investigate alleged contraventions of certain acts, regulations and instruments. The Ministry of Education does not administer any acts that are prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights for Applications for Investigation.
In December 2015, the ECO invited prescribed ministries to renew their commitment to the EBR in writing. Read the Ministry of Education's recommitment to the Environmental Bill of Rights.
The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s evaluation of ministry compliance with the Environmental Bill of Rights during the reporting period from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018
Ministry of Education (EDU)
ECO Comment: The EDU has a low EBR workload. There was little material with which the ECO could evaluate the EDU’s execution of its EBR responsibilities in 2017/2018, as the ministry did not post any notices on the Environmental Registry. However, the ECO commends the EDU for voluntarily considering an EBR application for review – before the ministry was legally required to do so – asking it to improve Ontario’s school curriculum with regard to sustainable food systems and the nutrition guidelines used in schools. The EDU also co-operated by providing information requested by the ECO’s climate change team, but the ECO urges the EDU to respond to our requests for information more promptly in 2018/2019.
Quality of Performance
In our annual reports, the ECO makes recommendations to improve EBR compliance and environmental protection. The Ministry of Education does not have any outstanding ECO recommendations.
Since 2000, the annual ECO Recognition Award has recognized the hard work of ministry staff in an initiative that benefits Ontario’s environment and meets the goals of the EBR. Every year, the ECO asks prescribed ministries to submit programs and projects to be considered for the award. The Ministry of Education has not yet been the recipient of the ECO Recognition Award.