OPEN LETTER: The Government of Ontario Has Made a Huge Mistake Axing the Office of our Environmental Watchdog

OPEN LETTER: The government of Ontario has made a huge mistake axing the office of our Environmental watchdog

Over 1,000 people are missing from the Camp Fire in California. My heart is breaking and my mind is reeling.

I live in a city embedded in a forest – Sudbury, Ontario. I am worried.

The government of Ontario has made a huge mistake axing the office of our Environmental watchdog.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  (IPCC) says we have 12 years to reduce fossil fuel usage before we unleash extreme heat, droughts, flood, and all the violence and poverty that will accompany catastrophic climate change.

The good news is, with the right policies, Ontario could be poised to capture the 26 trillion dollar cleantech opportunity by 2030 and lead the world in the right direction and save the world $30 trillion dollars in climate damages by the end of the century.

Political stripes aside, I don’t think this current government has the necessary background and knowledge to capture this opportunity as well as protect us. The government of Ontario in their fall statement said, “The government contends that the federal carbon tax is as unconstitutional as it is unethical and unfair.”- and that is just not true.

The latest IPCC report says carbon pricing is key to averting disaster. They are not alone in their assertions. The Pembina Institute in Canada has come to a similar conclusion and so have many other economists, 46 countries and also oil companies and Republican Statesmen.

Without a properly function oversight and transparency, Ontario is at risk of joining the ranks of Russia, USA, and Saudi Arabia in their level of commitment to the climate crisis.

Is this what we want Ontario: to be in the ranks of Trump, Putin, and Saudi Royalty?

We don’t know the fate of the Environment Commissioner’s Office under the Ford Government. Dr. Dianne Saxe, our Environment Commissioner, is among the best legal minds in Canada on the environment.  And, only Ontario and New Zealand have a type of environmental legislation with similar participatory rights requiring public consultation. We might just lose all these protections.

As the late Gord Downie said, “This is our air and our water, these things belong to us. Every license to pollute, every environmental impact, must be considered carefully and publicly. These are our environmental rights, rights as important as any others, rights that must be respected.”

What can you do?

Get involved with local environmental groups. Join with others and build the political will for liveable world.

Democracy is the solution to the climate crisis.

Every Wednesday, learn more about Citizens’ Climate Lobby and how you can make a difference in creating the political will for legislation that will put us on the path to reduce the emissions that are changing our climate.

The informational session begins at 8:00 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT, 5 p.m. PT and 4 p.m. AT

Join Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Introductory Call


Cathy Orlando has put her words to work for the climate by getting letters and opinion pieces published in newspapers in every province in Canada. When she’s not safeguarding the climate alongside the best volunteers on the planet, you can probably find her stargazing, dancing, reading books not about climate change, hanging out with her husband Sanjiv, and mothering her three cherished daughters.