Premier Wynne announced on June 24, 2014 that Glenn Murray will be the new Minister of the Environment and Climate change. According to the announcement, this is “an expanded portfolio that will ensure Ontario can protect the gains it has made in fighting climate change, lead Ontario’s mitigation and adaptation efforts to extreme weather and strengthen its position as a leader in clean technology.”
Our congratulations to Minister Murray, although we are sorry to see him leave the Ministry of Transportation. He was the first car-free Transportation Minister since 1912 and introduced proposed amendments to the Highway Traffic Act that would have improved pedestrian and cyclist safety. Hopefully the new Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca, will pick up where Minister Murray left off and reintroduce Bill 173, Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Keeping Ontario’s Roads Safe), 2014.
We are pleased to see the provincial government’s emphasis on climate change and hope that it signals further action in this area. We are also optimistic that Minister Murray will resuscitate the proposed environmental bills that died when the election was called:
- Bill 6, Great Lakes Protection Act, 2014,
- Bill 91, Waste Reduction Act, 2013, and
- the anti-SLAPP Bill 83, Protection of Public Participation Act, 2014
Each of these Bills was long-awaited and the subject of much public consultation – that work should not be lost.