Environmental Law Centre
The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) is calling on Premier Notley and the Government of Alberta to enact laws that will define and protect all Albertans’ rights to a healthy environment.
The ELC, a long-standing charity based in Edmonton, has released its most recent report, ‘A Road Map for Environmental Rights in Alberta: Rights for a Sustainable Future’, that recommends adopting a provincial Environmental Bill of Rights. An Environmental Bill of Rights would define specific rights that ensure a clean and healthy environment in Alberta for generations to come.
The ELC’s report recommends a path for invigorating the rights of individual Albertans that:
1. Allow for meaningful participation in environmental decision making, including decisions about water, air, parks and other public land;
2. Provide citizens with enforcement tools; and
3. Provide third party oversight and review of environmental laws and policies.
“Current and future generations of Albertans should feel secure in the knowledge that their laws will provide them with clean water, clean air, and healthy land and forests” notes Jason Unger, Executive Director of the ELC.
“From landowners to municipal water users, most but not all Albertans benefit from a clean environment. Now is the opportune time to bring in a bill that will help remedy existing environmental problems while also securing and maintaining the environment for the future.”
“Existing laws in Alberta provide us with some rights in this vein; however, an Environmental Bill of Rights will strengthen environmental quality and grant citizens the ability to enforce environmental standards,” Unger notes.
“We mustn’t assume the environment will maintain itself and we should embrace our roles as citizens of Alberta to secure our natural assets.”
The ELC report is a first step in laying out the key legislative directions that are needed.
This is part of an ongoing project, and further reports and recommendations will be published over the next year.