Right to a health environment in Canada’s Environmental Protection Legislation
Check out our submission by former CCRC Chair, Kathy Vandergrift, on Bill C28.
The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC) appreciates the proposal in Bill C-28 to recognize the right to a healthy environment in Canada’s Environmental Protection Legislation (CEPA). This begins to bring the legislation in line with Canada’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which explicitly recognizes children’s right to a healthy environment in Article 24, the article on the right to health.
We also appreciate the proposal to consider impacts for vulnerable groups in assessments and regulatory processes, as part of implementing the right to a healthy environment. But it is not clear that this includes consideration of stages of development, to reflect the reality that some forms of pollution do more harm to children, especially children in early stages of their development.
To more explicitly ensure that this legislation adequately protects the rights of children and fulfills Canada’s duties under the Convention, we propose three ways to strengthen this legislation: (1) inclusion of a more specific recognition of Canada’s obligations under the Convention; (2) inclusion of age and stages of development in the definitions and provisions relating to vulnerable groups; and (3) inclusion of a focused Child Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) for proposals and issues that are likely to have a significant impact for children.
Full submission:CCRC Submission on Bill C28