Urge Senators to Redress Environmental Racism and Support Bill C-226
On March 29, Bill C-226, the National Strategy on Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice Act, passed in the House of Commons. KAIROS Canada celebrated this milestone with other civil society organizations. Black, Brown and Indigenous activists are leading this work and bring crucial perspectives to environmental issues.
We now turn our eyes to the Senate and urge swift passage of Bill C-226 into law.
The bill is the result of decades of advocacy by racialized environmental activists and allies in Canada such as the Canadian Coalition for Environmental and Climate Justice (CCECJ) and the Black Environmental Initiative.
If Bill C-226, becomes law, it will be an effective tool for addressing environmental racism in Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities across Canada. It will require the government to examine the links between racialization, socio-economic status and environmental risk, and develop Canada’s first national strategy on environmental racism and environmental justice.
Environmental racism refers to the disproportionate location of polluting industries and other environmental hazards close to Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities and the greater exposure of these communities to the harms that these hazards cause.
Environmental justice is a principle that guides the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of racialization, gender, sexual orientation, ability, national origin, or income in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
For decades, polluting industries and landfill sites have ended up in racialized communities in Canada, resulting in higher-than-normal rates of cancer, respiratory illnesses, and other chronic health problems. Current mechanisms and channels fail to effectively address this systemic problem of environmental racism. With Bill C-226, Canada can begin to redress the problem.
Please tell senators to support swift passage of Bill C-226. Sign the Letter to Senators now and invite others to sign on too.
- Advocating against Environmental Racism (KAIROS, 2022)
- Decolonization is at the heart of effective climate action (KAIROS, Feb 2022)
- Centring Social Justice is Sound Climate Policy (Ingrid Waldron, July 2021)
- UN Special Rapporteur report on the human rights implications of hazardous substances and wastes (2020)
- What is Environmental Racism and How Can We Fight It? (World Economic Forum, July 2020)
- “Sacrifice Zones” in the Green Energy Economy: Toward an Environmental Justice Framework (Dayna Nadine Scott and Adrian A. Smith, 2017)