Support federal legislation on environmental racism

All people in Canada have the right to a healthy environment

Pollution and environmental degradation disproportionately harm racialized communities.

Canada needs a national strategy to identify, address and prevent environmental racism, and advance environmental justice.

In June 2021, a private member`s bill addressing environmental racism (Bill C-230) gained the support of four out of five parties in Parliament. Unfortunately it did not advance to the final vote before an election was called.

We are calling on Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Parliament to bring back the National Strategy Respecting Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice Act and pass it. Add your voice!

Environmental racism occurs when environmental policies or practices intentionally or unintentionally result in disproportionate negative impacts on certain individuals, groups or communities based on race or colour, as well as unequal access to environmental benefits.

Ingrid Waldron, founder of the ENRICH Project in Nova Scotia, investigates the effects of polluting industries and toxic dumps on Indigenous and Black communities. The Netflix film based on Waldron’s book, There’s Something in the Water, documents community members’ experiences with landfills in Africville and Shelbourne, pulp mill effluent discharged near Pictou Landing First Nation, and pipeline construction on Sipekne’katik First Nation territory. “The legacy of environmental racism can no longer be ignored,” Waldron says.

Air pollution trends in Canada’s major cities reveal another dimension of environmental racism. Researchers point to “distinct patterns of inequality.” Marginalized groups consistently experience higher cumulative air pollution burdens. Health risks include breathing and lung problems, heart conditions and an increased risk of stroke. Health Canada estimates that 14,600 premature deaths per year in Canada can be linked to air pollution.

Ask Canada’s Minister of Environment and climate change to re-introduce federal legislation on environmental racism and environmental justice NOW.

All people in Canada have the right to a healthy environment.