Environment Probe is a division of the Energy Probe Research Foundation, a Toronto-based environmental and public policy research institute.
The organization works to expose government policies that harm not only Canada’s forests, fisheries, waterways, and other natural resources but also the economy. It is committed to developing and promoting alternative resource policies that are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable.
Launched in 1989, Environment Probe first focused on the opportunities in the Free Trade Agreement to improve environmental standards. It has since shifted its attention to putting other market mechanisms to work for the environment. Central to its work is the promotion of property rights and decentralized decision making to empower individuals and communities to protect natural resources. It is also a sharp critic of subsidies to resource industries.
Where markets cannot be relied on to protect the environment and public health — where property rights cannot be assigned or enforced, or where natural monopolies exist — Environment Probe advocates the strict enforcement of statutes and regulations. The organization works for regulatory processes that internalize risks and costs, enhance efficiency, and promote accountability and transparency.
Environment Probe works both to inform public opinion and to influence decision makers. It has written three books, contributed chapters to 14 others, and authored numerous studies. Several leading university texts use Environment Probe’s findings to illustrate economic principles. Environment Probe regularly writes for the national press and frequently appears on radio and television. It addresses conferences, seminars, and university classes in Canada and abroad. It also influences public policy through its participation in environmental assessments, public inquiries, and regulatory consultations.