On December 8, 2020, MP Lenore Zann put the federal private members bill A National Strategy to Redress Environmental Racism (Bill C-230)
forward to second reading in the House of Commons.
From pipelines in Sipekne'katik First Nation in Nova Scotia and Wet'suwet'en First Nation in British Columbia, mercury contamination and petrochemical facilities in Grassy Narrows First Nation and Aamjiwnaang First Nation in Ontario respectively, to a pulp and paper mill in Pictou Landing First Nation in Nova Scotia, landfills in the African Nova Scotian communities in Shelburne and Lincolnville and other environmentally dangerous projects in other parts of Canada, the legacy of environmental racism in Canada can't be denied.
Bill C230 is asking Minister of Environment Jonathan Wilkinson to develop a strategy that must include measures to:
The second reading of the bill continues March 23, 2021. Sign our petition and urge Canada's leaders to pass Bill C-230 and redress environmental racism!
- 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 and
- Address environmental racism including in relation to amendments to federal laws and policies, compensation for individuals and communities, and ongoing funding for clean air and water.
A National Strategy to Redress Environmental Racism (Bill C-230) was introduced in the House of Commons on February 26, 2020 by the MP for Cumberland-Colchester. I am urging you to take this opportunity to work across party lines, represent the concerns that your constituents have voiced, and support this bill that would make Canada a leader on addressing the urgent issue of environmental racism.
Environmental racism refers to the disproportionate location and greater exposure of Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities to polluting industries and other environmental hazards. These toxic burdens have been linked to high rates of cancer, reproductive diseases, respiratory illnesses, and other health problems in these communities (Bullard, 2002; Fryzuk, 1996; Gosine & Teelucksingh, 2008; Waldron, 2018).
From the decision approximately 60 years ago to offload pulp mill effluent into Pictou Landing First Nation's once-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, petrochemical facilities in Chemical Alley in Ontario and in British Columbia, the legacy of environmental racism can no longer be ignored (Waldron, 2018).
Bill C-230 calls for the government 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 and
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.
I am urging members of all political parties to unanimously pass a bill that would make Canada a leader on environmental justice. This has become even more urgent amidst the epidemic of anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism and the COVID-19 pandemic that has disproportionately impacted Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities in Canada.
[your comments here]
It is important that all communities have the power to control their environment. Currently, Indigenous, Black, and other marginalized communities don't have that power, and when they don't have a say in what happens in their communities, we all suffer. Bill C-230 addresses this imbalance of power, and benefits everyone. Good for all of us. Good for Canada.