WINNIPEG — Ecojustice and the David Suzuki Foundation issued the following statement in response to the introduction of Manitoba’s Environmental Rights Act:

“Today Manitoba took an important step toward ensuring that every person in Manitoba has the right to clean air, safe drinking water, and a stable climate. The right to a healthy environment is a concept that transcends political lines, and we applaud the government and Manitobans who worked hard to support this critical issue,” said Kaitlyn Mitchell, Ecojustice lawyer.

“Manitoba has taken the important step of recognizing a substantive right to a healthy environment — a right which a majority of Canadians overwhelmingly support. We now hope to see legislators of all political stripes work together to make the Environmental Rights Act law.”

“This is an inspiring example of a government taking leadership by working within their authority to respect, fulfill and promote the right to live in a healthy environment,” added Alaya Boisvert, manager of Blue Dot Government and Partner Relations with the David Suzuki Foundation.

“By recognizing and protecting environmental rights, Manitoba can support sustainable prosperity, reduce deaths and illnesses linked to pollution, and advance environmental justice. The bill will enshrine in law the deep connection between the quality of our environment and our human right to life, liberty, and dignity.”

The David Suzuki Foundation and Ecojustice are partners in the Blue Dot movement, a national grassroots campaign to advance the legal protection of every Canadian’s right to live in a healthy environment. In just 18 months, thousands of Canadians from coast to coast to coast have mobilized around the concept of environmental rights and urged their governments to take action. To date, more than 120 municipalities, representing 12 million Canadians, have passed declarations in support of the right to a healthy environment.

“Environmental rights are human rights. Around the globe, the right to a healthy environment has gained legal recognition faster than any other human right during the last 50 years and it’s time for Canada’s laws to catch up,” said Mitchell.