Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights

An Act to establish a Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.


Linda Duncan  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)


Introduced, as of Oct. 29, 2014
(This bill did not become law.)


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment establishes the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights, whose provisions apply to all decisions that emanate from a federal source or are related to federal land or a federal work or undertaking. The purpose of this enactment is to

(a) safeguard the right of present and future generations of Canadians to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment;

(b) confirm the Government of Canada’s public trust duty to protect the environment under its jurisdiction;

(c) ensure all Canadians have access to adequate environmental information, justice in an environmental context and effective mechanisms for participating in environmental decision-making;

(d) provide adequate legal protection against reprisals for employees who take action for the purpose of protecting the environment; and

(e) enhance public confidence in the implementation of environmental law.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

December 2nd, 2014 / 2:10 p.m.
See context


Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think that all members in this place agree that Canadians should be able to raise their families in a clean, healthy environment. Regrettably, what is lacking is the political will in the Conservative government to actually extend that right to Canadians and their communities.

What is particularly galling is that two decades ago, Canada committed to do exactly that. Under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, Canada must ensure that Canadians are given a voice in all decisions impacting their environment, yet the pattern of behaviour by federal governments since has been to declare those grandiose commitments in international arenas but fail to act on them back home.

To make matters worse, the government rescinded even the meagre environmental rights and duties once accorded under federal law and did so without public consultation or consent. To remedy this, I once again tabled the Canadian environmental bill of rights. My bill would impose clear duties on the government to protect our environment, empower Canadians to hold the government accountable, and allow the public to participate in all decisions impacting their environment.

In the public interest, I implore the Conservative government to comply with its commitments, restore the rescinded environmental measures, and make Canadians' right to a clean and healthy environment a reality.

Canadian Environmental Bill of RightsRoutine Proceedings

October 29th, 2014 / 3:10 p.m.
See context


Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-634, an act to establish a Canadian environmental bill of rights.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to again table my bill, the Canadian environmental bill of rights.

The bill, once enacted, would impose critical duties and extend important rights by, first, enshrining the right in Canadians to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment, including through amendment of the Canadian Bill of Rights; second, by legally enshrining the government's public trust duty to protect the environment to the extent of its jurisdiction, including legislating and enforcing environmental protection laws; and third, by extending to Canadians the right to hold their government accountable through access to environmental information, participation in decision-making impacting their environment, and legal standing to seek judicial intervention where those rights are denied.

In the five years since it was first introduced, this reform has now become all the more critical, as the government has undermined and eroded almost every environmental protection and related public right.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)