Support Bill C-226 – To End Environmental Racism and for Environmental Justice

Join environmental justice advocates taking action to ensure Bill C-226 is fast tracked and given unanimous consent in the House of Commons!

Bill C-226 will be an effective legislative tool for addressing environmental racism in Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities across Canada. 

The Prime Minister and the Minister of Environment have already announced their support for this bill in the House and on social media. 

Now we need to encourage cross-party support for Bill C-226 and consent from all political parties to fast track the bill through Parliament.

BACKGROUND

Bill C-226 mirrors the bill that was first introduced as Bill C-230 in February 2020 as a Private Member’s Bill by MP Lenore Zann. 

The bill, with amendments, passed at second reading, with support from the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois. With the election call in 2021, the bill died on the order paper. Fortunately, the bill has been resurrected.

On February 2, 2022, Green Party MP Elizabeth May introduced An Act Respecting the Development of a National Strategy to Assess, Prevent and Address Environmental Racism and To Advance Environmental Justice (Bill C-226) in the House of Commons. Given that Bill C-230 has already moved through Parliament and Bill C-226 is the exact same bill, there should be support for fast tracking with unanimous consent.

Environmental racism refers to the disproportionate location and greater exposure of Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities to polluting industries and other environmental hazards. Environmental justice is a principle that guides the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of racialization, gender, sex, ability, national origin, or income concerning the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

The toxic burdens faced by racialized communities living and working in Canada have been linked to high rates of cancer, reproductive diseases, respiratory illnesses, and other health problems in these communities. 

From the decision approximately 60 years ago to offload pulp mill effluent into Pictou Landing First Nation’s pristine Boat Harbour, and toxic landfills placed in the African Nova Scotian communities of Shelburne and Lincolnville, to mercury contamination in Grassy Narrows First Nation, and exposures from petrochemical facilities by Aamjiwinaang First Nation in Chemical Valley in Ontario and British Columbia, the legacy of environmental racism can no longer be ignored.

ABOUT THE BILL

Bill C-226, should it become law, will be a tool to address environmental racism in Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities from coast to coast. 

Now that Bill C-226 has been introduced and is before the House, and given that it is the exact same bill as Bill C-230, CAPE urges MPs to fast track it and give it unanimous consent in the House of Commons.

Bill C-226 is asking the Minister of Environment & Climate Change to develop a strategy that must include measures to:

  • Examine the link between race, socio-economic status, and environmental risk.
  • Collect information and statistics relating to the location of environmental hazards.
  • Collect information and statistics relating to negative health outcomes in communities that have been affected by environmental racism.
  • Assess the administration and enforcement of environmental laws in each province.
  • Address environmental racism including in relation to:
    • possible amendments to federal laws, policies, and programs,
    • the involvement of community groups in environmental policymaking,
    • compensation for individuals or communities,
    • ongoing funding for affected communities, and
    • access of affected communities to clean air and water.

TAKE ACTION

Your help is needed to see Bill C-226 fast-tracked and passed into law. Step up and encourage cross-party support for Bill C-226 and encourage all political parties to consent to the fast tracking of this bill through Parliament. There are a number of actions you can take to get the message out:

Not sure what to say? We have provided some example emails and tweets for you below as well as contact information for key recipients of your message or tags in your tweets!

Email Template 

For Messages to MPs, Minister of Environment, and the Prime Minister

Social Media

Help spread the word by:

  • Tweeting MPs (Twitter handles below) using the hashtag #EnvRacismBillC226
  • Communicating with your social media followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to show your support for Bill C-226 using the hashtags #EnvRacismBillC226
  • Asking your friends, family, and colleagues in a tweet or Facebook post to send the email template letter above, write to or call the MPs, Minister of Environment, and the Prime Minister.

Here are some sample tweets you can use to send to MPs, the Minister of Environment, and the Prime Minister:

#EnvRacismBillC226 I am calling on MPs across all political parties to support #BillC226 to address environmental racism. We can no longer look the other way (include Twitter handles for MPs) @s_guilbeault @justintrudeau

#EnvRacismBillC226 Canadians are counting on you to make #EnvironmentalRacism a thing of the past by supporting #BillC226. (include Twitter handles for MPs) @s_guilbeault @justintrudeau

#EnvRacismBillC226 All Canadians should have the power to control their #environment. Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities should have a say in what happens in their communities. The passing of #BillC226 in the House would address this issue and will benefit everyone. (include Twitter handles for MPs) @s_guilbeault @justintrudeau

It’s time for Canada to clean up its act and I’m counting on the Canadian government to make it happen. #EnvRacismBillC226  (include Twitter handles for MPs) @s_guilbeault @justintrudeau

Twitter handles, Facebook pages and phone numbers

Contact Information for MPs:
Our Commons: https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en/search
Open Parliament: https://openparliament.ca/politicians/
Phone numbers and addresses for MPs: https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/addresses

Minister of Environment & Climate Change Steven Guilbeault:
Twitter: @s_guilbeault
Email: ministre-minister@ec.gc.ca
Telephone: 819-938-3813
Address: Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Canada, Fontaine Building 12th floor, 200 Sacré-Coeur Blvd, Gatineau QC K1A 0H3

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:
Twitter: @justintrudeau
Email: justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca
Telephone: 514-277-6020

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