For Immediate Release
August 26, 2015
ENVIRONMENTAL BILL OF RIGHTS BADLY NEEDED
IN ALBERTA, SAYS GREEN PARTY LEADER
Alberta needs an environmental Bill of Rights
CALGARY – “Enacting an Environmental Bill of Rights would give Albertans substantive rights – such as the right to a safe and healthy environment – and would impose a duty on the minister of the environment to protect these rights,” says Janet Keeping, Leader of the Green Party of Alberta. Keeping is also a candidate in the forthcoming September 3rd by-election in Calgary – Foothills.
Importantly, an Environmental Bill of Rights would also give Albertans procedural rights, such as the right to environmental information held by the government and the right to go to court to enforce all these rights. Keeping says, “Alberta’s ecosystems and wildlife habitat have been nickle-and-dimed nearly to death. It’s time Albertans had stronger legal tools to protect the environment. An Environmental Bill of Rights could be used to prevent measures that are difficult to prevent in any other way, such as the sale by the government of energy leases to endangered caribou habitat or the approval of pipelines that would threaten species already endangered, such as the sage grouse.”
An Environmental Bill of Rights would not have to have constitutional status initially. But like the Alberta Human Rights Act, it could be given priority over all other provincial legislation.
“Albertans are more than ready for an Environmental Bill of Rights,” Keeping claims. “We can all readily see the degradation in the natural environment around us. This deterioration cannot be allowed to continue or our children and grandchildren will live vastly inferior lives to ours. No one wants such an awful future, neither for our loved ones nor for others.”
The Green Party of Alberta called for an Environmental Bill of Rights during the recent general election and repeats that call now. Keeping emphasizes that “with every passing day the need for it grows.”
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For more information, please contact:
Leader of the Green Party of Alberta and
Candidate for the 2015 Calgary – Foothills by-election