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

TAKE ACTION NOW!

 

Join us in calling on the Senate to pass Bill C-226, the National Strategy Respecting Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice Act.

Click here to sign the petition.

 

Bill C-226 would require the federal government to establish a national strategy to assess, prevent and address environmental racism and advance environmental justice. The House of Commons passed Bill C-226 in March 2023, but the Senate still needs to approve it before it becomes law.

Environmental racism refers to the disproportionate siting of polluting industries and other environmental hazards in Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities, and uneven access to nature and environmental benefits. Environmental racism occurs when environmental policies or practices intentionally or unintentionally result in disproportionate negative impacts on Indigenous and racialized individuals, groups or communities. Clear legislative requirements and accountability mechanisms are need to prevent this phenomenon.

CAPE is promoting this petition hosted by the David Suzuki Foundation in collaboration with other partners.

David Suzuki Foundation will submit it to the Senate standing committee on energy, the environment and natural resources, Senator Mary Jane McCallum (the bill’s sponsor) and other senators.

Join us and sign the petition today! 

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

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.

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

There are a number of actions you can take to get the message out:

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 We 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 people 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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