09 Mar An Environmental Bill of Rights for Alberta
In addition to our series of educational materials concerning legal rights related to environmental quality, the Environmental Law Centre has drafted a model Environmental Bill of Rights for Alberta. This model is intended to generate discussion about how our laws may be reformed to foster environmental quality for current and future generations of Albertans.
The Environmental Law Centre is excited to announce its latest environmental rights publication:
Annotated Environmental Bill of Rights for Alberta
What is an Environmental Bill of Rights?
An Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) is a way to expressly entrench and protect environmental rights via legislation. An environmental right may be substantive in nature, protecting the right of every Albertan to a healthy environment. Environmental rights may also ensure that Albertans have process rights such as access to environmental information, meaningful participation in environmental decision-making, and effective means to enforce our environmental laws.
What does the ELC’s Annotated Environmental Bill of Rights for Alberta Say?
This publication draws from our previous work on environmental rights in Alberta (see below) and brings it together in a Model EBR. It is our goal that the Model EBR will generate discussion about the current state of environmental rights in Alberta and the need to expressly entrench and protect the environmental rights of all Albertans. The Model EBR clearly protects the rights of current and future generations of Albertans to:
- a healthy environment;
- be involved in environmental decision-making including access to environmental information, mechanisms for direct public participation, and other procedural rights;
- environmental justice;
- accountability in the implementation of environmental laws; and
- legal protection against reprisals for employees who take action to protect the environment.
The Model EBR also confirms that the Government of Alberta holds and manages Alberta’s air, water, land and other components of the environment in trust for all Albertans.
The Environmental Bill of Rights Program:
Phase 1 of the Environmental Law Centre’s Environmental Bill of Rights Program examines the current state of environmental rights in Alberta and several other jurisdictions, and makes a number of recommendations.
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 report A Road Map for Environmental Rights in Alberta: Rights for a Sustainable Future.
Each of the modules within the ELC’s Environmental Bill of Rights Program take a more in-depth look at key issues we’ve identified along with our recommendations for them to be addressed in Alberta.
The ELC would like to thank the Alberta Law Foundation for its support of the ELC’s Environmental Bill of Rights program.
ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CENTRE:
The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) has been seeking strong and effective environmental laws since it was founded in 1982. The ELC is dedicated to providing credible, comprehensive and objective legal information regarding natural resources, energy and environmental law, policy and regulation in Alberta. The ELC’s mission is to educate and champion for strong laws and rights so all Albertans can enjoy clean water, clean air and a healthy environment. Our vision is a society where laws secure an environment that sustains current and future generations.
As a charity, the Environmental Law Centre depends on your financial support. Help us to continue to educate and champion for strong environmental laws, through tools such as our blog and all of our other resources, so that all Albertans can enjoy a healthy environment. Your support makes a difference.
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