Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights Workshop for ENGOs – March 2 and March 6, 2015

Identical sessions will be offered on two dates: Monday, March 2, 2015, and Friday, March 6, 2015. Both sessions will be offered from 1-4 PM and take place in Toronto (215 Spadina Ave. Suite 128, Toronto, ON M5T2C7). Some travel subsidies are available.

This interactive workshop will introduce you to Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR), a powerful toolkit for environmental change. Whether your issues are wildlife or water taking permits, alvars or air quality, greenhouse gases or gravel pits, you want to ensure you have the full range of tools at your disposal. The EBR is designed to boost public engagement with Ontario’s environmental laws and policies.

This is your chance to ask questions and learn about:
– the Environmental Registry: Master the basics (and some of the finer points) of the Environmental Registry – a versatile and searchable online database for thousands of current environmental proposals and past decisions of the Ontario government. Learn the rules and best practices for submitting comments to the government – comments the government must consider in its decision-making.
– how to bring your environmental concerns to the government’s attention: The EBR lets you become proactive in bringing environmental concerns and solutions to the government’s attention, using applications for review and investigation. Ontarians from all walks of life have helped to change environmental laws and policies, using the EBR application process. Learn, for example, how two students used the EBR to prompt the government to prohibit by-laws that barred use of a proven energy saver: the outdoor clothesline.
– other EBR rights: learn about your rights to request appeals of certain site-specific decisions on licences, approvals and other environmental instruments. For example, this tool can give members of the public a say on conditions in a company’s water taking permit.
– reports of the Environmental Commissioner (ECO): discover a wealth of information and unique analysis at your fingertips, in the ECO’s reports. The ECO is Ontario’s independent environmental watchdog. The ECO’s reports shed light on a wide range of environmental issues, including natural resources, air and water management, climate change and energy conservation.
Presenters include:

Glenn Munroe will introduce you to the range of useful information in ECO reports and will show how you can have input as well as make use of the results. Glenn is a Senior Policy and Decision Analyst at the ECO and has an extensive background in agriculture, soil and waste management issues. Tyler Schulz will share practical “Dos and Don’ts “on the EBR reviews and investigations tools, and will show how the tool has helped members of the public achieve environmental gains. Tyler is a Senior Policy and Decision Analyst at the ECO, with first-hand experience on hundreds of EBR applications. Ellen Schwartzel will share tips for getting the most out of the Environmental Registry. She will also introduce you to the EBR’s “leave to appeal” tool and describe the work of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. Ellen is Deputy Commissioner of the Environment, and has over 20 years of experience in environmental policy.

Registrants from out of town can contact Paul Bubelis (paul@sustainabilitynetwork.ca) with an estimate of anticipated travel costs (mileage at 44c/km or bus/train receipts) as only pre-approved expenses will be reimbursed until the cap is reached.

Registration is $25 per person and available at:

Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights: A Toolkit for Change

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