Let’s recognize our right to a healthy environment!

I’m pleased to welcome Linda Ablack, a Blue Dot Ottawa Volunteer, as a contributor to 350Ottawa.   This call to action is Blue Dot Ottawa’s message to Canadians to stand up for their right to have a healthy environment and to have a greater say in how decisions that affect the environment are made.  (Larry Dobson, Editor)

A Call from Blue Dot Ottawa …

A recent review of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act by the House Standing Environment Committee1  has recommended that the federal government formally recognize the right to a healthy environment, the simple yet powerful idea that all Canadians deserve to breathe fresh air, drink clean water and eat safe food.

If implemented, these recommendations could have major benefits for all Canadians and mark a milestone toward our goal of establishing a federal environmental bill of rights.

In addition to recognizing the right to a healthy environment, the review is also recommending that the government:

• Ensures that consumers have the right to know if toxic substances are present in the goods they buy.

• Establishes legal minimums for air- and water-quality standards.

• Carries out annual reporting on the state of Canada’s environment, including environmental justice issues.

• Empowers citizens to bring environmental civil actions when government is found to be negligent.

This can only happen if we let our government know we support these recommendations!

You can help make this happen by sending a message to members of Parliament encouraging them to support these recommendations.

If you enter your postal code, your message will be directed to your MP as well as to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.

Since 2014, more than 107,000 Canadians have signed on in support of environmental rights. Volunteers have helped pass municipal resolutions across the country, and now more than 40 per cent of people in Canada live in a municipality that supports the right to a healthy environment!

It’s time to take it to the next level.  Ask your MP to support the right to healthy environment now.

We have a narrow window of opportunity to give Canadians greater control over decisions that affect the environment, by providing greater transparency and participation in environmental decision-making.   


1 HEALTHY CANADIANS, HEALTHY ECONOMY: STRENGTHENING THE CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999

1 See also:   Canadian Environmental Law Association  (Blog)

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