OSPE speaks – government listens

OSPE regularly monitors the Ontario government’s Environmental Registry which asks for public opinion on various issues like climate change and the province’s long term energy plan.

In April 2015, a consultation notice asked for feedback on a Draft Statement of Environmental Values – Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. OSPE submitted a brief commentary in support of such a statement and provided recommendations on how the document could be strengthened. OSPE mentioned the importance of consulting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals, better communication between ministries and other levels of government such as municipalities, and consulting with industry stakeholders when making environmental decisions.

Last week, the final statement was released by the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI). OSPE is pleased to see many of our recommendations incorporated into the final Statement of Environmental Values: Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.

Specific additions include:

Under key responsibilities in fulfilling the ministry mandate:

  • Draft bullet point – Stimulating investment in key sectors of the new economy
  • Final bullet point – Stimulating investment in key sectors of the new economy, with an emphasis on knowledge-intensive industries
  • Draft bullet point – Coordinating the Province’s long-term infrastructure plan and priorities and supporting economic growth through strategic infrastructure investments
  • Final bullet point – Coordinating the Province’s long-term infrastructure plan and priorities, in consultation with municipalities and the federal government

Under Consultation:

  • Draft Statement – The Ministry will endeavour to provide opportunities for appropriate consultations when making decisions that might significantly affect the environment.
  • Final Statement – The Ministry will endeavour to provide opportunities for appropriate consultations, including with affected industries and technical and environmental experts.

Under Greening of Internal Operations and Energy Conservation:

  • Draft Statement – The Ministry will support Government of Ontario initiatives to conserve energy and water, and to wisely use our air and land resources in order to generate environmental, health and economic benefits for present and future generations.
  • Final Statement – The Ministry will cooperate and share knowledge with other ministries in support of Government of Ontario initiatives to conserve energy and water, and to wisely use our air and land resources in order to generate environmental, health and economic benefits for present and future generations.

OSPE applauds the Ontario government for making environmental stewardship a priority for all ministries and will continually monitor progress in this area.

To view OSPE’s comments submitted to the Environmental Registry, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *