Giving all Canadians the Right to a Healthy Environment
Updated: Jul 30, 2019
Maryam and Nivaal Rehman | Toronto, Canada
In Canada, the right to a healthy environment is still something that we are fighting for. Canadians have the right to know about the pollutants that are released in our environment, but we don’t have the right to be protected from them. When Canadians hear about this, they are always shocked.
Aren’t environmental rights something that we should all have access to? Shouldn’t we already be protected from harmful pollutants in our environment? Isn’t this something that our government should provide for us already?
Unfortunately, while it makes sense for this to be something that we should all have access to, it is not something that Canadians have. Canada is one of the most developed countries in the world, and yet, it is not part of the more than 110 countries who have the right to a healthy environment included in their constitution.
By now, you’re probably wondering how you can take action. How can you endure that people across Canada, living in major cities, small towns, and especially indigineous communities on reserves have the right to a healthy environment? The right to breathe fresh air, drink clean water, and eat healthy food?
We recently started working with the David Suzuki Foundation’s Blue Dot Movement this June, and began advocating for environmental rights to be recognized across Canada at the local, provincial and federal levels.
The Blue Dot Movement runs many chapters across the country which consist of volunteers and activists who work together to take environmental action. We work with our local Blue Dot Chapter in the Durham region.
Just this past summer, we have participated in several local events and shared Blue Dot’s message with community members across the Durham Region.
We also worked on the Ontario Bill of Rights Campaign, which was aiming to open up Ontario’s Bill of Rights so that the Right to a healthy environment is included across the province.
We shared Blue Dot’s message and asked Ontarians to sign post cards in support of the Blue Dot Movement. We then mailed these postcards to our local members of Provincial Parliament. In the coming months, we hope to be able to raise enough awareness and support so that we can open the environmental bill of rights for Ontario and create real change for all Canadians. Visit www.bluedot.ca to find out how you can get involved.