Canadian News Nov 18, 2020 4:00 PM EST

Ontario not meeting emissions targets, AG says level of non-compliance is 'surprising'

Lysyk found that Ontario is not focused on the targets set two years ago that aimed to reduce emissions by 30 percent below the province's 2005 levels by 2030.

Ontario not meeting emissions targets, AG says level of non-compliance is 'surprising'
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC
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Ontario's Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk said the province would not hit it's yearly greenhouse gas emissions targets as the issue is not a priority.

Lysyk found that Ontario is not focused on the targets set two years ago that aimed to reduce emissions by 30 percent below the province's 2005 levels by 2030.

Lysyk's office had previously found that Ontario was on abiding by the rules set under the province's Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR,) on numerous instances.

"The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks needs to do more in leading by example on the environmental front by supporting, promoting and administering the Environmental Bill of Rights," a news release from the office of the Auditor General says.

“The ministries have an obligation to embrace this legislation and include Ontarians in the decision-making process,” said Lysyk. “The EBR is critical in ensuring meaningful public participation and better decisions affecting the environment.”

“Given that the Environmental Bill of Rights has been with us for 26 years, the level of non-compliance by ministries is surprising,” wrote the Auditor General. “We strongly encourage the ministries to be more diligent in this regard.”

The report shows a number of issues that all led to ministries’ compliance with the EBR worsening in 2019/20. These issues, as outlined on the news release, include:

• not giving the public ample time to respond to complex proposals;
• not updating Registry notices or notifying the public of decisions in a timely manner; and
• insufficient information and not enough time given to Ontarians to comment on commercial forestry
management changes that affect protections for endangered species

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