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Our congratulations to Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner for three more excellent reports:

2012/2013 Annual Report: Serving the PublicA Review of Ontario’s Weakened Protections for Species at Risk (Special Report, Nov. 2013)Building Momentum:
Annual Energy Conservation Progress Report
2012 (Volume Two)

Like most other folks we know, we struggle to read everything that comes our way, and we don’t always get to the ECO’s reports the day they arrive. But they are always worth a careful read: packed full of information, data and insight.

I particularly enjoyed the cover on the Energy Conservation Progress Report. Anyone ought to get the message in that graphic: who would choose to spend 24 cents, instead of 1.4 cents, for the equivalent amount of natural gas heat?

But the piece that touched me most this year was the ECO’s heartfelt introduction to his annual report, lamenting the cuts that have stripped the Ministry of the Environment of so much of its scientific leadership and community credibility over the past twenty years. For years, the ECO has written about and of how much the MOE is expected to do with so little, partly due to Mike Harris’ savage cuts and partly to Ontario’s overall decline and punishing cash crunch. I don’t see an end to cost restraint any time soon, but it is worth remembering what we have lost, and whether we can replace it in some way. Thank you, Gord.

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