Change may soon be coming to the Environmental Registry.
The Registry has been crucial to supporting public participation in environmental decision making in Ontario for nearly two decades. Created under the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 and administered by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (“MOECC”), the Registry provides public access to information about the decisions impacting the environment that are happening around the province. It also provides the public with the opportunity to weigh in on these decisions by offering a forum for providing comment.
The practice of public participation in environmental decision making in Ontario has benefited a great deal from the availability of this resource. However, the Registry’s design has long been plagued by complaints related to its cumbersome interface, limited functionality, and general obsolescence.
It appears that the MOECC may have taken up these calls to improve the Registry. Dianne Saxe, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, has recently noted that the MOECC is working towards updating the registry soon. To assist the process, her office has come up with a number of thoughtful suggestions, based on stakeholder input.