Environmental Bill of Rights sought for B.C.

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The Georgia Straight

by Carlito Pablo on September 29th, 2015

The endorsement by the Union of B.C. Municipalities at its recent convention of the concept of an environmental bill of rights in B.C. is a first step.

The next move, says Vancouver–West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, is to challenge the provincial government to enact such a measure that recognizes the right to a healthy environment.

“I’m working with a number of folks who are quite supportive of this idea, to consult, see what should be in such a bill…and see if we can convince this government or a future government to enact the bill,” Chandra Herbert told the Straight in a phone interview.

Based on the resolution adopted by the UBCM at its September 21 to 25 convention, a provincial environmental bill of rights shall acknowledge that people are entitled to “clean air, clean water, clean food, and vibrant ecosystems”. The measure shall also provide “access to justice when environmental rights are infringed” and contain protection for whistleblowers.

According to Chandra Herbert, there should be no reason for the province to reject the idea, which, he said, is a popular one: “When you ask anybody, ‘Do you think you should have the right to clean air, water, and land?’, the vast majority of people will say ‘Yes.’ ”

Follow Carlito Pablo on Twitter: @carlitopablo.