“The Ontario public needs and deserves to be confident that our environmental protection systems are actually doing the job – but there are clearly areas of weakness,” stated Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller as he released his 2007/08 Annual Report “Getting to K(no)w ” at Queens’s Park this week.
The 2007/08 Report examines new regulations for the financing of municipal water systems, a new but insufficient fee for commercial water uses and a water-taking application by a large water bottler that produced an unprecedented response from citizens concerned about their water resources. “As Ontario’s water resources come under increasing stress, our policies still seriously undervalue water and don’t reflect its critical importance to the ecosystem, the economy and our quality of life ” warned Miller. A summary of the water critique can be found here.
Other topics examined include Ontario’s progress on mitigating and adapting to climate change, protecting biodiversity, greening of the Ontario government, the importance of mammalian predators in effective wildlife management and conservation, reforms to brownfield legislation, and changes in household hazardous waste management.
A substantial section of the 2007/08 Report (Part 3) is the review of a sample of the 1,616 Decision notices posted to the Environmental registry by Ontario ministries. Some of the items considered were the Canadian-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (COA), Water Taking Charge Regulation, Fisheries Protocols Undermined by Crippling Cutbacks, Burning of Used Oil in Space Heaters, and the Ministry of Transportation Environmental Standards Project.