Tell the Canadian government a healthy environment is a human right

Credit: Jamie McCaffrey via Flickr

On March 7, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights released its first review of Canada in 10 years. It concluded that by failing to provide adequate environmental protections or take action on climate change, our country has fallen short of meeting international human rights obligations.

The federal government’s response to the UN review will be the first real test of its commitment to recognizing the link between human rights and the environment. Tell our federal government to adopt the UN's recommendations to protect human rights through strong environmental protections.

The David Suzuki Foundation presented the UN with human rights concerns based on more than 1,500 comments collected during our June 2015 Celebrating Coastal Connections tour of British Columbia. Collectively, coastal residents made a compelling case for protecting ocean health and taking action on climate change, linking these issues directly to their way of life and basic human rights.

Although Canada prides itself on its human rights record, it is failing to protect the foundation of many rights: a healthy environment. Following this UN review of Canada, our newly elected government has an opportunity to recognize the role of a healthy environment in meeting its human rights obligations.

Send an email message now to encourage our federal government to follow the UN's recommendations to better protect the environment and our human rights to air, water and food.

If you have a few minutes, please write a letter to the editor, using our simple tool. It’s easy, and it makes a big impact!

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"The Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau" <justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca>
"The Honourable Mélanie Joly (Minister of Heritage)" <melanie.joly@parl.gc.ca>
"The Honourable Hunter Tootoo (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans)" <hunter.tootoo@parl.gc.ca>
"The Honourable Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change)" <catherine.mckenna@parl.gc.ca>
Follow the UN recommendation to link environment and human rights
On March 7, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights released its first review of Canada in 10 years. It concluded that by failing to provide adequate environmental protections or take action on climate change, our country has fallen short of meeting international human rights obligations. We urge your government to demonstrate its commitment to human rights by improving environmental protections for air, water and soil. The committee would also like to see Canada pursue alternative and renewable energy production. The David Suzuki Foundation’s submission to the periodic review was based on more than 1,500 comments from coastal communities in British Columbia made during June 2015. Collectively, coastal residents made a compelling case for protecting ocean health and taking action on climate change, linking these issues directly to their way of life and basic human rights. As a newly elected government, you have the great opportunity and responsibility to recognize the link between a healthy environment and human rights. I urge you and your government to follow the recommendations of the UN committee to meet international human rights obligations by: 1. joining more than 100 nations in constitutionally recognizing the right to a healthy environment; 2. taking immediate steps to restore and enhance robust environmental protection of Canada's oceans; 3. fully respecting Indigenous rights to title and consultation; and 4. acting immediately to protect ecosystems from degradation and climate change, including pursuing renewable energy production. For more information, read the David Suzuki Foundation's submission to the United Nations (http://davidsuzuki.org/un-submission) and the UN committee’s recommendations (http://bit.ly/UNCESCR).
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