The province has temporarily exempted ministries from the minimum 30-day consultation requirement to post proposals for acts, regulations, policies, and instruments to the Environmental Registry (ERO) as a result of the pandemic.
“As COVID-19 continues to quickly evolve, we are taking action to ensure we are responsive to the needs of Ontarians in a way that supports the ongoing protection of the environment and human health,” officials stated.
“This will ensure our government is able to quickly respond to the time-sensitive needs of regulated businesses that may be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak so they can continue operations and ensure the goods and services can be delivered.”
Protections still vital
Environmental protections continue to be a vital consideration in all government decision-making, officials stated.
“We are also committed to continuing public transparency on environmental decision making during this temporary measure and will continue to post information notices on the Environmental Registry to keep the public informed of time-sensitive decisions that are made during this unprecedented emergency period.”
The exemption applies to all ministries prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights and will be in place until 30 days after the Emergency Declaration ends to provide ministries time to address administrative matters, such as re-establishing processes for posting proposal, once the declaration of emergency is terminated.
Ministries will continue to post regular proposal notices, with public consultation, for matters that do not require the same urgent action during the time, officials stated.
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