The review of Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights closes soon.
More than 7,500 people from across the province have already added their voices to the call for a stronger Bill of Rights. If you too support important improvements, today is a good day to let the review team and the Minister know. Copied below is the letter I e-mailed this morning.
31 October 2016
The Honourable Glen Murray
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
11th Floor, Ferguson Block
77 Wellesley Street West
Review of Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights
I support a stronger Bill of Rights. As an Ontarian, I feel deeply connected to our province’s natural environment and want to make sure it’s protected for years to come.
I stand with people across the country who are asking all levels of government to establish the legal right to a healthy environment. All Canadians should have the right to clean air and water, safe food and a stable climate. I believe these rights must also be included in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to shape our relationship with the land, air and waters on which we all depend.
By joining more than 110 nations that legally recognize environmental rights and responsibilities, Ontario has an important leadership opportunity in our country.
I therefore support the following improvements to Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights:
1 Substantive Environmental Rights The guarantee of substantive environmental rights lies at the very heart of a strong Environmental Bill of Rights. It includes the right to breathe clean air, drink safe water, enjoy a nontoxic environment and expect healthy ecosystems for our children and grandchildren.
2 Environmental Principles Since the Environmental Bill of Rights was enacted almost 25 years ago, a number of important environmental principles have emerged nationally and internationally that are still missing from the EBR. These include such well-known concepts as zero discharge, polluter pays, the precautionary principle and intergenerational equity.
3 Environmental Justice Increasing evidence shows low-income Ontario communities and historically disadvantaged groups, including Indigenous peoples, are unfairly exposed to and affected by pollution. Environmental justice can help address the inequitable distribution of environmental hazards – like air, water and soil pollution – in the province.
P.O. Box 1644
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Climate Change and Environmental Policy Division
Strategic Policy Branch
77 Wellesley Street West