Should Canadians have a right to a healthy environment? That’s the premise of an article in this month’s issue of this magazine [Read it].

Written by Teresa Goff, the article includes a quote from Ecojustice staff lawyer Justin Duncan and focuses on our Chemical Valley charter challenge, a case where we’re working to ensure the human rights of people living in one of Canada’s most polluted communities – Sarnia’s Chemical Valley – are recognized and protected.

Forty per cent of Canada’s petrochemical industry operates in Sarnia just a short distance from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation. The community of 700 is exposed to harmful pollutants, including cancer-causing benzene and chemicals that affect breathing and cardiovascular health.

Our clients Ron Plain and Ada Lockridge allege that the Ministry of the Environment’s ongoing approval of pollution from local refinery and chemical facilities is a violation of their human rights under Section 7 and Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Environmental lawyer and author David R. Boyd says in the article that “if people had a constitutional right to live in a healthy environment, a government or court would have stood up and said it is unjust to continue piling pollution onto these people.”

Until that happens, Ecojustice continues to work on behalf of our clients.