About the Environmental Bill of Rights
The Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR), which came into effect in February 1994, is one of the most significant environmental laws to be passed in the last 25 years. (Click here, here, and here to read the relevant legislation.)
It recognizes that the people of this province have as a common goal the protection of our natural environment. The provincial government has the primary responsibility for protecting, conserving and restoring the natural environment, and the people of Ontario have the right to participate in government decision making and to hold the government accountable for those decisions.
Therefore, the EBR represents a new era in environmental decision making and one of better public participation, citizen empowerment and greater accountability of decision makers. The ECO is charged with monitoring government compliance with the EBR, so that the integrity of Ontario's ecosystems, one of our most important legacies, are conserved for future generations. Click here to find out more about the role of the ECO.
What does the EBR mean for me?
Under the EBR, you can participate in ministry decisions about the environment and hold the government accountable for those decisions. You have the right to comment on environmentally significant government proposals, to seek permission to appeal a ministry decision, or to ask a ministry to review a law or investigate harm to the environment. Click to find out more about your rights under the EBR, view or download a presentation, or download our handbook, The Environmental Bill of Rights and You (.pdf file).
Who and what does the EBR apply to?
The EBR applies to environmentally significant decisions and proposals made by Ontario ministries or under Acts which are prescribed.
Statements of Environmental Values
Each of the ministries subject to the EBR has a Statement of Environmental Values. The SEV guides the minister and ministry staff when they make decisions that might affect the environment. SEVs are available on the EBR website. Click here to find out more about Statements of Environmental Values (SEVs).
The Environmental Registry
A key tool of the EBR is the Environmental Registry, an online database where environmentally significant proposals and decisions are posted. Click here to find out more about the Environmental Registry.