The Right to a Healthy EnvironmentDocumenting the need for environmental rights in Canada

Publication - May 19, 2017 - By Nikki Way, Andrew Read, Erin Flanagan

Do Canadians have a right to a healthy environment? Such rights are recognized in more than 110 countries around the world, but not in Canada. A multitude of organizations and experts argue that a right to a healthy environment is legally possible, can be practically implemented and can improve protection for the environment and other human rights.

To this end, it is important to document examples where existing rights are impacted locally by the insufficient footing of environmental protection. We have compiled three case studies highlighting the adverse impact on current rights when environmental human rights are lacking. All three case studies relate to energy development in Alberta. Each focuses on a different governing body and aspect of its regulatory system, examining the impacts from the level of the individual, the community and the region.

  • Case Study 1: Individual impacts of intensive hydraulic fracturing activity in rural Alberta
  • Case Study 2: Community impacts of air pollution in urban central Alberta
  • Case Study 3: Regional impacts of oilsands development in northern Alberta


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