Sharing For Future Generations
True or false? Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms explicitly protects our right to live in a healthy environment.
If you answered “true,” you’re in good company. Polling shows more than half of Canadians erroneously believe the Charter includes a provision on environmental rights (another 19 per cent aren’t sure).
It should, but it doesn’t. In fact, no federal law does.
A private member’s bill introduced in Parliament on October 29 proposes to change that. Bill C-634, An Act to Establish a Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights, would introduce a legal duty for the federal government to protect Canadians’ right to a healthy environment. If Bill C-634 becomes law, Canadians will have access to new legal mechanisms for ensuring that the federal government lives up to this duty and takes appropriate actions to protect the environment and enforce existing environmental laws.