Ecojustice’s Justin Duncan and Elaine MacDonald, alongside Aamjiwnaang First Nation members Ada Lockridge and Ron Plain, held a press conference this morning to announce new legal action over the cumulative pollution in Sarnia’s Chemical Valley.

We’ve filed an Application for Judicial Review, alleging that the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s ongoing approval of pollution in Sarnia violates Ada and Ron’s basic human rights under sections 7 and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – rights to life, liberty and security of the person, and the right to equality.

Ron Plain has already moved his family off of the reserve out of concern for their health while Ada Lockridge, and 700 other Aamjiwnaang community members, continue to be exposed to a range of harmful pollutants, including cancer-causing benzene, as well as sulphur dioxide,particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen — chemicals known to cause respiratory and cardiovascular health effects.

The level of pollution faced by residents is like few other places in the country. But a win in our case would be first step in changing this and defending the human rights of Aamjiwnaang citizens and hopefully all Canadians to not be exposed to dangerous levels of pollution.