Environmental Consulting: an Essential Service in Canada

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The global pandemic has changed how we live, work, and conduct business. As Canada, and the world, encounter an ongoing second wave of the virus, the government must decide which services are deemed essential. But what does it mean to be an essential service? And which services should be essential? Here’s a look at the reasons why environmental consulting companies provide essential services.

environmental consulting

The Continuation of Business

One of the greatest challenges of COVID-19 has been learning to balance health and safety with the continuation of business operations. While governments struggle to curb infection rates, they must also try to support national businesses. In preserving the health of the economy, the government has to make a difficult decision. It must determine which businesses can or cannot be open. This qualification is accessed by whether your business is included in your province’s essential services list. The good news is that Environmental consulting companies are considered essential in Ontario. 

Essential Services List

Each province has its own essential services list based on what it believes its residents require. Here are a few of the provinces that distinguish environmental consulting firms as being essential.


Under item 34.v. of the Community Services list, Ontario states that businesses engaging in “Environmental rehabilitation, management and monitoring, and spill clean-up” are considered essential services. Independent environmental consultants can qualify for these standards because they align waste management and air and water treatment. In fact, most environmental service work fits into this category. The Ontario Environment Industry Association (ONEIA) played a key role in making sure these types of services continued during all stages of the pandemic. 

British Columbia

Each province has similar guidelines for their essential services but BC’s list differs in some respects. For one thing, environmental services can actually qualify as essential under BC’s Sanitation subheading. It states that “Businesses that support environmental management/monitoring and spill clean-up response” are essential services”. Unlike Ontario, this subheading directly references environmental consulting firms.


Alberta has been the most liberal with their business restrictions. Even if a business is not deemed essential, it may still open if it follows the proper health and safety restrictions. That said, Alberta still lists “environmental services for agriculture, mining, oil and gas” as essential. This is quite broad and can accommodate most independent environmental consultants.

The importance of our health and safety has never been more apparent. The longevity of our lives, however, isn’t solely determined by the coronavirus. It is also determined by the quality of our environment. That is why environmental consulting companies are considered an essential service; because they are so integral to preserving our quality of life. If you want to see how your business can implement environmental change, contact DigiSci Environmental Consulting. Our environment is essential for a reason.