Reflecting and Cataloguing the Environmental History of Canada

For many decades the CELA Foundation, formerly the Resource Library for the Environment and the Law (RLEL), has worked to preserve and make available environmental law history and resources to the public. The Environmental History Program formalizes this effort, placing all of the electronically available collections together in one place as a rich virtual library.

These materials include all of the publications issued by the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario during its existence as an independent office of the legislature from 1994 to 2018. The extensive resources and excellent research of the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy were also all transferred to the CELA Foundation. The CELA Foundation has also received substantial support over the years from the Law Foundation of Ontario, including a project to digitize much of the early history of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, and to establish an archival framework for other ENGO’s collections in the future. The Environmental Beginnings website which contains video interviews with many of the early members of Ontario’s modern environmental law movement is also now hosted by the CELA Foundation, and we hope to continue to build on this legacy.

Environmental Beginnings

Environmental Beginnings is a project initiated by the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Environmental Bill of Rights. It captures the stories and memories of some of the people who were involved in the significant environmental events and organizations. Tune in to hear how they contributed to the evolving history of environmental protection in Ontario.

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Publications

From 1994 to 2019, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) served as the province’s environmental watchdog. Appointed by an all-party committee, the ECO was an independent officer of the Ontario Legislature tasked with:

  • Promoting and providing advice and assistance about the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR);
  • Reporting on the implementation of, and compliance with, the EBR; and
  • Reporting on Ontario’s progress reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy conservation and efficiency.

The ECO produced three reports each year, focusing on climate change, energy, and environmental protection and the EBR compliance of the Ontario ministries prescribed under the EBR.

As of April 1, 2019, the ECO became a part of the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario. This change occurred under Schedule 15 of the Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018.

Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) Archive

Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy

CIELAP is no longer actively performing research and analysis.
The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) will provide continued access to CIELAP’s work and publications through the CIELAP website and through the Research Library for the Environment and the Law (RLEL), which has created a section dedicated to CIELAP’s work and publications.
Please contact CELA to inquire about the use of materials or with any other inquiries.