“Today’s report from the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) confirms that the Liberal government is undermining public participation in environmental matters in Ontario.
It is offensive that the government is deliberately circumventing the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). This lack of transparency and accountability is dangerous.
The government’s trampling of citizen’s rights in the EBR process is wrong. We must treat citizens with respect. People have a right to speak out for the well-being of our communities and our environment.
The revelations in the ECO report are not surprising given the government buried changes to environmentally significant laws in the spring omnibus budget bill.
The public consultation period under the EBR is important to raise and address serious issues. Circumventing the rules discourages citizen participation, reduces transparency and accountability, and leads to bad public policy.
There are substantial issues facing our communities right now, like the proposed mega quarry in Melancthon Township, that pose long term threats to the health and well-being of our province.
Given their current pattern of behaviour, it’s questionable whether the Liberal government has the integrity to make decisions that put Ontario’s long term prosperity ahead of their partisan interests.”
Mike Schreiner, GPO leader
The ECO report can be found at http://www.eco.on.ca/index.php/en_US/pubs/annual-reports-and-supplements/losing-touch-part-i