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Eco-rights need Charter protection »

The 30th anniversary of our landmark Charter of Rights and Freedoms passed this week without any celebration by the Canadian government. Curiously, in stark contrast the War of 1812 was marked last year with considerable fanfare. With the recent attacks calling environmental activists 'terrorists' it's clear that no such entrenchment of eco-rights will ever happen under a Harperialist regime.

Every Canadian should have the right to clean air, water, food and land. In fact, most of us think we do. We don’t. Canadians enjoy freedom of expression, equal protection from discrimination and the right to life, liberty and security under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This makes the Charter, which turns 30 this week, one of Canada’s most powerful laws for protecting our human rights and collective quality of life. But the Constitution is silent on safeguarding our air, water and food, which are the very elements of our survival. In an era of global warming and mass industrial pollution, this means Canadians’ rights – which are supposed to be guaranteed by the Charter – are increasingly threatened without recognition of our right to a healthy environment.
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