The Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) gives all Ontarians certain environmental rights. That means that everyone – ordinary citizens, students, politicians, policymakers, business people and activists – has legal rights and formal procedures for participating in environmental matters.
The EBR applies to environmentally significant proposals and decisions made by certain Ontario ministries or under certain provincial laws. EBR environmental rights do not apply to federal or municipal decisions.
On January 30, 2018, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) wrote to the then Premier of Ontario to recommend that a number of additional ministries, agencies and laws be made subject to the EBR, in order to expand the benefits of the EBR to more of the government’s environmental decision making.
Your EBR Rights
Under the EBR, you have the right to:
- Comment on environmentally significant government proposals;
- Ask a ministry to review an existing law, or the need for a new one;
- Ask a ministry to investigate harm to the environment;
- Seek permission to appeal a ministry decision on a permit, approval or other instrument;
- Use courts or tribunals to protect the environment; and
- Get whistleblower protection.
Check Out Some EBR Resources
- Watch a video describing the tools available to you under the Environmental Bill of Rights.
- Check out this easy-to-read booklet, which describes your rights and shares inspiring stories of Ontarians who have used their environmental rights to improve environmental protection in the province.
- Read the Environmental Bill of Rights and its regulations, which describe how the EBR applies to different ministries and laws, and approvals and permits
Exercising your rights under the EBR can be an empowering and rewarding way to play a role in government decisions that affect the environment. Whether you are commenting on an environmentally significant proposal, submitting an Application for Review or Investigation, or seeking to appeal an environmental approval, you are helping to achieve our common goal as Ontarians: the protection, conservation and restoration of Ontario’s natural environment for present and future generations.