Your right to a healthy environment | Finding Solutions | 2013 | Spring | Publications | David Suzuki Foundation

(Credit: Drew Brayshaw via Flickr )

Thanks to you, we're fighting for Canadians' rights to live in a healthy environment.

About 10 years ago, public health worker Beatriz Mendoza moved to a heavily industrialized and polluted neighbourhood in Buenos Aires. When her health began to suffer, she hired a lawyer and sued the federal, provincial and municipal governments, as well as 44 companies, for violating her constitutional right to a healthy environment.

The case eventually reached the Supreme Court, which decided that Mendoza's right had been violated. The court ordered all levels of government to clean up the watershed, build infrastructure for drinking water and sewage treatment, implement environmental monitoring and address citizens' health problems. Since then, remarkable progress has been made in the area.

Though this victory took place in Argentina, it could well have played out in any of nearly 100 countries worldwide. Unfortunately, it couldn't have happened in Canada. Our Constitution does not recognize the right to a healthy environment.

That's why the David Suzuki Foundation has partnered with Ecojustice and renowned environmental lawyer David Boyd to ensure all Canadians get legal protection for their right to a healthy environment. We believe everyone needs access to clean air, safe water, fertile soil and nutritious food to survive and thrive.

In February, we held a telephone town hall, giving our supporters an opportunity to ask Boyd and our CEO Peter Robinson about the global environmental rights movement and our journey toward constitutional reform.

The response was overwhelming; we received far more questions than could be answered at the town hall. So on page 3, you'll find answers to some of the most asked. You'll also find the petition we are encouraging Canadians to sign, to pledge their support for this crucial constitutional reform.

We hope you'll join us on this challenging and exciting journey.