29 Sep Environmental Bill of Rights: Action Today for Albertans Tomorrow
The Environmental Law Centre thinks that future Albertans should be able to look to our laws as a source of pride for how they support and maintain their environment. To this end the ELC is advocating for a provincial bill of rights to provide that substantive and symbolic legal framework to ensure clean water, clean air, clean soil and biodiversity are not only a legal framing today but so that they can be in the future. The ELC sets out key recommendations in its most recent report A Road Map for Environmental Rights in Alberta: Rights for a Sustainable Future.
In the report we identify the key areas for that a bill of rights must embrace, including:
- A clear and substantive statement of environmental quality as an Albertan’s right;
- A clear right of participation in relation to management of public resources, such as water, air and public land;
- A strengthening of legal rights during hearings;
- The creation of a third party agency for review and evaluation of environmental performance; and
- an expansion of environmental enforcement opportunities for Alberta citizens.
These recommendations (among others) are based on the need to ensure environmental quality today and into the future, facilitated by citizen engagement and legislative accountability.
The ELC would like to see such a bill become a reality in the near future. We will continue our efforts in formulating a draft bill to continue the discussion and call on Albertans who support an environmental bill of rights to make their voices heard.