NDP

NDP introduces historic Environmental Bill of Rights

May 5, 2016


For Immediate Release

May 5, 2016

 

Halifax, NS – Today, the NDP Caucus will introduce an historic Environmental Bill of Rights which will help Nova Scotia move forward to a sustainable and environmentally-sound future.

The legislation spells out the need to protect our environment, address climate change, and provide opportunities for meaningful consultation and public participation around environmental questions. The legislation is based on a similar law in Ontario.

The Environmental Bill of Rights accomplishes 5 key goals:

–          Expands citizens’ participation and consultation in the environmental assessment process

–          Increases government accountability and transparency by requiring all environmental data to be posted online

–          Creates whistleblower protections for public and private employees who expose environmental wrongdoing

–          Creates mechanisms for citizens to sue in court over violations of environmental rights

–          Establishes an Environmental Commissioner, an independent and arms-length office, similar to the Auditor General, who will report on environmental issues to the Legislature

“Climate change is one of the greatest crises of our times.  The NDP is committed to environmental justice and finding positive solutions to the climate crisis.  Part of the solution is empowering citizens around climate and environmental issues.  To this end, the NDP is introducing an historic Environmental Bill of Rights,” says Gary Burrill, Leader of the Nova Scotia NDP

“We have been inspired to introduce this legislation by the NDP Environment Committee and the brilliant work of environmental NGOs across Nova Scotia, including the Ecology Action Centre, the East Coast Environmental Law Association and the Atlantic Coastal Action Program,” continues Burrill.

“Public participation and consultation on environmental questions is key as we move forward.  It is clear from the Doelle-Lahey report that ensuring communities give social license to developments is the only way to develop Nova Scotia’s resources in an environmentally sustainable way,” says NDP Environment Critic, and MLA for Chester-St Margaret’s, Denise Peterson-Rafuse.

Nova Scotians can add their name to the call for an Environmental Bill of Rights by signing this petition:https://nsndp.ca/environmental-bill-of-rights

 

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For more information please contact Kyle Buott at (902) 266-2068