The Ministry of Labour (MOL) is one of 15 Ontario ministries that is required under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) to include the public in its environmentally significant decision making. Click on a heading below to learn about the Ministry of Labour and its EBR requirements and performance.
The Ministry of Labour (MOL) was established in 1919 with a mandate to develop and enforce labour legislation. One of the MOL's key areas of focus is occupational health and safety, which includes occupational exposure to hazardous substances and pollutants. The MOL administers the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This Act and several of the regulations and policies under it deal with controlling worker exposure to hazardous chemical, biological and physical agents in the working environment. This Act (along with its regulations), however, is not prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights.
In addition, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, an agency of the Ministry of Labour, is responsible for adjudicating employment and labour relations issues. The Environmental Bill of Rights provides whistleblower protection for workers who take action in respect of the environment. If an employer takes reprisals against an employee on a prohibited ground, employees may file a complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
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 Labour (MOL).
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 MOL must give notice of, and consult on, any proposal to make or amend any policy or act that could have a significant effect on the environment.
Applications for Review and Investigation
Under the EBR, members of the public can ask certain ministries to review the need for a new environmental policy, act or regulation. Members of the public can also ask certain ministries to investigate alleged contraventions of certain acts, regulations and instruments. The MOL, however, is not prescribed under the EBR for Applications for Review or Investigation.
In December 2015, the ECO invited prescribed ministries to renew their commitment to the EBR in writing. Read the ministry’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 Labour (MOL)
ECO Comment: The MOL has a relatively low EBR workload. There was little material with which the ECO could evaluate the MOL’s execution of its EBR responsibilities in 2017/2018, as the ministry did not post any notices on the Environmental Registry. The ECO encourages the MOL to ensure that it considers its EBR responsibilities whenever the ministry’s work could have a significant effect on the environment, and to respond promptly to any requests for information from the ECO.
Quality of Performance
In our annual reports, the ECO makes recommendations to improve EBR compliance and environmental protection. The Ministry of Labour 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 Labour has not yet been the recipient of the ECO Recognition Award.