Understanding the Impact of the Closure of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario: Questions and answers on the implications of Bill 57 for the future success of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario and the viability of the EBR

  • December 20, 2018
  • David McRobert

David McRobert is a lawyer based in the Peterborough area with 28 years' experience working on environmental and social justice issues. He has taught environmental law for 25 years and has authored 13 different books, numerous reports, and dozens of articles on various environmental and social justice issues.

These questions and answers were prepared for the author’s interview with CHEX-TV in Peterborough, Ontario on December 10, 2018.

OBA EDITORS:  David, can you tell us why you have been following Bill 57 closely since late November 2018?

Answer: I had the good fortune to work at Queen’s Park for more than 25 years. Part of that time was spent in an advocacy role, working for environmental groups such as Pollution Probe in the late 1980s and early 1990s on climate change, waste reduction, energy conservation, and protection of green space and farm land.

In 1994 I was hired as the In-house Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor at the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO). I worked there until 2010 helping to build the organization. We developed clear policies and procedures to ensure our office was perceived as non-partisan and independent. One of the unique aspects of the ECO is that most of the staff are very passionate about their work and work long hours, well beyond the required 36.5 hours per week.