As of April 1, 2019, the ECO became part of the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario. This change occurred under the Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018.

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The Right to Sue for Harm to a Public Resource or for a Public Nuisance

Under the Environmental Bill of Rights, you can sue someone who has contravened an environmentally significant act, regulation or instrument (permit or licence), causing harm to water, air, land, wildlife or another public resource.

Also, you can sue for damages if a public nuisance that harms the environment causes you personal injury or economic loss.

You should consult a lawyer for details about how to sue for harm to a public resource or for a public nuisance. For the names of Ontario environmental law specialists, contact the Law Society of Upper Canada at:
(416) 947-3330 or 1-800-268-8326

For more information about the right to sue under the EBR, contact the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Whistleblower Protection

You have legal protection under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) if your employer has taken reprisals (i.e., dismissed, disciplined, penalized, coerced, intimidated or harassed, or attempted to coerce, intimidate or harass you) because you exercised your rights under the EBR. For example, you have legal protection from reprisal if you report spills, unlawful emissions or other hazardous activities at your workplace.

The EBR also protects you for disobeying an employer to comply with laws and regulations subject to the EBR (e.g., for turning off a valve to stop an illegal discharge of effluent into a river).

To make use of this whistleblower protection, contact the Ontario Labour Relations Board at:
(416) 326-7500 or 1-877-339-3335

For more information about whistleblower protection under the EBR, contact the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.


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