[Sust-mar] Green Interview: Landmark lawsuit seeks Constitutional rights to healthy environment

Laura Landon laura.landon at bellaliant.net
Sun Feb 9 18:16:26 EST 2014


cid:part3.08010003.09040003 at silverdonaldcameron.ca


 Landmark lawsuit seeks Constitutional right to a healthy environment

February 9, 2014


A  lawsuit launched by two members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation aims to
prove Canadians have constitutional rights to clean air, clean water, and a
healthy environment.


"We are not asking for money. What we're asking for is cumulative effects be
considered in every decision," says Ron Plain, who along with Ada Lockridge
launched a Charter challenge that should finally get its day in court this

Plain and Lockridge are members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, a native
community in the heart of Ontario's notorious "Chemical Valley" near Sarnia,
Ontario. In a newly released Green <http://www.thegreeninterview.com/>
Interview, Plain and Lockridge speak candidly about their court case and
their community. Factories in the area emit more air pollution than the
entire provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, or New Brunswick. With the worst
air in Canada, Aamjiwnaang residents suffer from health problems including
high levels of cancer, asthma, and miscarried pregnancies. They also have an
alarmingly low number of baby boys being born: since the early 1990s, the
number of boys born dropped from a normal ratio of roughly half of all
births to less than 35 per cent. Researchers suspect the change may be
caused by exposure to chemicals that have disrupted people's reproductive

These health problems, and the expansion of toxic industries near
Aamjiwnaang led Plain and Lockridge to launch a lawsuit arguing the Ontario
government is violating their Charter rights to equality and to life,
liberty, and security of the person. Aided by the environmental law
organization Ecojustice, Plain and Lockridge aim to establish that Canadians
have a right to a healthy environment-a right that has never before been a
meaningful part of Canadian law. 


For Lockridge, this lawsuit is about fundamental rights: "To breathe clean
air, to feel safe in our own home, and to be treated equally as anybody
else. It's about future generations: the animals, the food that we eat,


The Green Interview is a subscription website of extended interviews with
some of the world's greatest thinkers, writers and observers-people whose
ideas and perceptions are leading the way to a new era of sustainability.
Visitors to the site can watch the interviews for one week free of charge.
In addition, the interviews are available in thousands of libraries
worldwide through  <http://www.gale.cengage.com/greenr/> GreenR, the
environmental database service of Gale Cengage Learning. The host and
executive producer of The Green Interview is Silver Donald Cameron, and the
interviews are produced and directed by Chris Beckett.

For further information about this interview or others at
<http://www.thegreeninterview.com/> www.thegreeninterview.com, please
contact: Silver Donald Cameron at  <mailto:sdc at silverdonaldcameron.ca>
sdc at silverdonaldcameron.ca or 902-446-5577.







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