On Thursday, September 22nd, the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) released its Consultation Paper on Environmental Accountability in Ontario.

The LCO believes the time is right for an independent, interdisciplinary, and balanced review of Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) legislation and environmental accountability strategies generally. The EBR was enacted more than 25 years ago. Since then, concerns about the health of our environment and, indeed, the future of our planet, have become ever more urgent.

Broadly speaking, the Consultation Paper asks two sets of questions. First, the LCO asks about potential reforms to the EBR. Second, the LCO asks potentially more far-reaching and challenging questions about emerging legal concepts of “environmental justice,” the “right to a healthy environment,” and how to account for Indigenous issues and legal orders in Ontario’s environmental accountability framework. A complete list of consultation questions is here.

The LCO will produce an independent, evidence-based, and comprehensive analysis of environmental accountability issues. The LCO’s final report will recommend reforms to laws, policies, and/or practices where it is appropriate to do so.

More information about the project, including how to participate, is available on the LCO’s environmental accountability project page here.