Ontario is not on track to meet its own targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the issue doesn’t seem to be top of mind for the provincial government.
That’s according to Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk, who released a series of environmental value-for-money audits Wednesday.
In her reports, Lysyk says that emission reduction is not a government priority and there isn’t enough focus on reducing fossil fuel use.
She says that two government ministries and a key agency, the Ontario Energy Board, do not assess or enforce building energy efficiency compliance, despite it being a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, Lysyk says her office found numerous instances of the government not following the rules set out in its own Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR).
“This year, our overall conclusion is that we found reduced transparency and accountability in environmental decision-making that risked undermining public confidence,” said Lysyk.
“In particular, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, which has primary responsibility for environmental matters in Ontario, is not leading by example,” she continued. “We found many instances of its non-compliance [with the Environmental Bill of Rights], even though it is responsible for the administration of the EBR.”
Two years ago, the PCs set a goal of reducing emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Lysyk has warned that the province is not on the right track to hit that target.
She published a similar report at the end of 2019, suggesting that the government knows that it is unlikely to meet its own targets.
Watch Lysyk’s short video summaries of key findings by clicking below or click here to view them in full.