Ecojustice urges Ford government to undo COVID-19 environmental rollbacks - 2020-05-20
Green law charity Ecojustice is urging the Ontario government to undo the province's dismantling of environmental protections during the COVID-19 pandemic, calling them an unnecessary overreach that leaves the public in the dark.
On April 1, citing the pandemic, the government suspended a broad swath of environmental protection law, effectively allowing the province to push forward environmentally significant projects or policy changes — even those that don't relate to COVID-19 — without consulting or notifying the public.
But the law already allows the government to skip public consultation if a public health emergency demands it, said Ecojustice staff lawyer Rob Wright. The only conditions are that the government notifies the auditor general and the public and explains its reasoning — stipulations that aren't included in the exemption Ontario passed last month.