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Canada needs an environmental bill of rights

CUPE has pledged its support to a federal bill that would enshrine in law the right of all Canadians to a healthy environment.  

Matthew Firth, Senior Officer for CUPE’s Health, Safety and Environment Branch presented CUPE’s submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development on Nov. 17. He said the bill will help put Canada’s environmental record back on track and protect our environment for future generations.

Bill C-469 will expand the scope of environmental protection of the government of Canada. It will help improve our country’s environmental record and help advance the rights of the planet at a time of major ecological challenges,” said Firth.

Key components of the private members bill sponsored by NDP MP Linda Duncan (Edmonton-Strathcona) include:

  • Ensuring access to environmental information and the right to participate in decisions related to the environment
  • expanding the right to request investigations of environmental offences and bring environmental issues to the courts
  • Providing whistleblower protection for employees
  • Ensuring accountability by giving Canadians the right to bring the federal government to court when it fails to enforce environmental laws