Canadians' new right to a healthy environment

The House of Commons recently passed landmark legislation recognizing the right of every individual in Canada to a healthy environment. Not only that, Bill S-5 tasked the federal government with upholding the principle of intergenerational equity in the bill’s implementation. In this episode we talk to one of the bill's champions, Dr. Elaine MacDonald, about the first major overhaul of the Canadian Environmental Protect Act in two decades and why it’s a big win for generational fairness.

Dr. MacDonald is Ecojustice’s Healthy Communities Program Director. She’s an environmental engineer who applies her expertise to work related to air quality, water pollution, and toxic substances. 

“We need to be protecting the environment for all generations, including future generations. So it really instills a kind of long-term thinking into government decision making,” Dr. MacDonald says. “Even within existing generations…when they're assessing substances for regulation under CEPA, they need to be thinking about all the generations that are currently here, from children to elderly people.”

Episode transcript

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