Conservation and environmental groups have given a good grade to a government committee’s new recommendations for changes to the Environmental Protection Act of 1999

Conservation and environmental groups have given a good grade to a government committee’s new recommendations for changes to the Environmental Protection Act of 1999. This is a *once-in-a-generation* chance to update the environmental protection act.
Photo Credit: Matt Medler/Associated Press

Environmental rights as a human right: new proposals for Canada’s environmental laws

Share

In a comprehensive evaluation, a government committee has made many recommendations to update Canada’s Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

Environmental groups are generally pleased with the recommendations and urge government to move quickly to adopt them.

Kaitlyn Mitchell is a staff lawyer with Ecojustice Canada, a non-profit environmental law organization that provides funding to lawyers to use litigation to defend and protect the environment.

Listen

The report is called, “Healthy Canadians, Healthy Economy: Strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999”.

Laywer Kaitlyn Mitchell of Ecojustice Canada (far left) with Mark Butler of the Ecology Action Cenre (far right) dicsussing a legal challenge to GMO salmon. Both have supported the new recommendations for changes to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) © Ecojustice Canada

The wide-ranging document makes a number of recommendations for changes to the Act.

Among them, the recommendations would recognize the right of a Canadian citizen to a healthy environment.

 The committee recommendations instill the idea that a halthy environment is good for citizens and the economy and would recognize environmental rights as a human right.
The committee recommendations would instil the concept that a healthy environment is good for citizens health and the economy and would recognize environmental rights as a human right. © One Ocean, via Nature of Things, CBC

In an Ecojustice press release Kaitlyn Mitchell says, “Environmental rights are human rights and we applaud the committee for thaking a clear, principled stance on the issue. This is a concept that transcends political lines and is fundamental to the advancement of a more just and equitable society”.

Deborah Schulte, MP for King Township and Vaughan in Ontario, Chair of the House Standing Committee on the Environment & Sustainable Development which produced the report
Deborah Schulte, MP for King Township and Vaughan in Ontario, Chair of the House Standing Committee on the Environment & Sustainable Development which produced the report © twitter

The Act, which regulates pollution and toxic chemicals, has not been revised for some 20 years and is considered out of date in light of technological advances, climate change, and changes in society. Environmental advocacy groups see this as a once-in-a-generation chance to strengthen and modernise certain laws in order to better protect the environment and human health.

While environmental and conservation groups give the review committee’s report good reviews, Mitchell says they recognize this as a good first step in a long process.

Catherine McKenna, minister of environment and climate change,
Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, © (Giacomo Panico/CBC

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change will now be considering the report with the possibility that a bill will be introduced when the House of Commons resumes sitting in the fall after the summer break, with debate to follow.

Additional information

Share
Categories: Environment, Internet, Science and Technology, Politics
Tags: , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*