Lawrence’s Insights on the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario 2017 Report “Good Choices Bad Choices”
Did you know Ontario has an environmental bill of rights, and an environmental commissioner? I wanted to learn more about what our latest Environmental commissioner of Ontario, Diane Saxe, has been up to, and what’s in the Commissioner’s 2017 report to the Ontario Legislative Assembly, entitled “Good choices, Bad Choices”.
The title of the report suggests the Commissioner is taking a carrot and stick approach. In fact, there are relatively few carrots being offerred up. The Report is further broken down further into government action, government inaction, and miss-guided government action on topics from wolfs to turtles to fish, and what it all means for the environment, people and the economy.
An example of government action is the 50-year old tragedy concerning the paper mill located on the Wabigoon-English River system and it’s continuing to impact the Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong Communities following an estimated 11 tons of Mercury being released into the environment. With so many being made sick, and the fish showing know signs of recovery, it certainly is time for action.
The Commissioner’s examples of government inaction are even worse. For example, the Report doesn’t hold back on what they claim to be the reasons behind the blue-green algae impacting our Great Lakes, and claims the government is dragging its feet on implementing a solution to what they believe to be clearly the main contributor to the problem.
Miss-guided government action covered in the Report will just make you want to cry. It has to do with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s risk-based approach to protecting species at risk, which the Commissioner insists has yet to protect a single species. What this means for species at risk such as turtles and the Algonquin or Eastern Wolf isn’t good.
Listen to my 10-minute summary of the ECO Report on Live on Studio 5 heard across Canada.
Listen to Blue Fish Radio Episode 163 for Part 1 of this two-part interview with Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner, Dianne Saxe.
We delve into the industrial tragity that has haunted two first nations communities in north-western Ontario for over 50 years. The papermill located on the Wabigoon-English River system continues to impact the Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong Communities following an estimated 11 tons of Mercury being released into the environment. We also explore the reasons behind the blue-green algae issues in Lake Erie and elsewhere, and why the government is dragging it’s heels on implementing a solution to what’s clearly the main contributor to the problem.
Listen to Blue Fish Radio Episode 164 Part 2 of my interview with Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner, Dianne Saxe.
We discuss the miss-guided actions of government and the impacts on Ontario’s environment, people and economy. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s risk-based approach to protecting species at risk, which the Commissioner claims has yet to protect a single species, and what the ECO says this means for turtles and the Algonquin wolf population. We also learn about the unacceptable delays behind improving the environmental bill of rights.
The ECO 2017 Report “Good Choices, Bad Choices” is available as an accessibly formatted PDF, and is very readable. Each chapter is a story in itself and written concisely using plane language. You can access the Report directly at: http://www.eco.on.ca/reports/2017www.eco.on.ca/reports/2017