1.05.05 - “Improve enforcement, including […] increasing policing of major polluters”
The 2021 Office of the Auditor General’s Report finds little evidence of policing polluters, and the Environment Ministry’s work with industries that spill hazardous substances is “too weak to prevent and reduce the risks from spills” as well as failing to be transparent with its public communications about spills. As the Government has failed to improve enforcement, and no work is being done to rectify this, this promise is broken.
“There were more than 73,000 hazardous spills reported in Ontario between 2011 and 2020, but the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks attempted to recover its response costs just three times. Even in those three, it went after only about half of the $1.3 million spill response cost it incurred, said Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk, in her Annual Report of Environment Audits. When looking at just 30 other spills where the government did not attempt any cost-recovery, the audit report estimated those spill responses cost taxpayers, and not polluters, about $4.5 million. The total amount of unrecovered costs is potentially tens of millions of dollars more.”
“The Energy and Mines Ministry’s lack of enforcement results in inaccurate and incomplete data from its private-sector energy reporting program”