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SUTE’s Participation in the Right to a Healthy Environment Consultation Process

On February 8th, 2024 the Government of Canada opened up a public commentary period on a discussion document for the right to a healthy environment, ending April 8th, 2024. Along with submitting written feedback, SUTE was invited to participate in government-facilitated consultation workshops. This document will be the living collection of the ways in which SUTE is participating in the consultation process, including key takeaways, the input we provided, and our vibe checks on how these processes are going.


Visit shakeuptheestab.org/post/ejpolicy for more information about the right to a healthy environment, and how you can get involved.


Updates of our Progress: 

As of February 15th, 2024: 

A representative from SUTE participated in a consultation workshop, facilitated by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada, during which government representatives presented on different aspects of the right to a healthy environment discussion document, and the progress of the national strategy for environmental justice. In a combination of breakout rooms and full meeting discussions, we engaged in conversation with representatives from other environmental organizations, lawyers, doctors, and other youth, devoted to shaping the right to a healthy environment.  

Conversation opened on the scope of the right (i.e. what a healthy environment means and looks like to us), during which we said that we want to see communities and ecosystems that are not only surviving, but thriving. We also discussed some of the key guide principles to be used throughout the implementation of the framework (i.e. environmental justice, non-regression, and intergenerational equity). SUTE advocated for the necessity of acknowledging the intersectionality of different aspects of people’s identities to have a better understanding of the environmental harms and exposures they face, and implementing community-led decision-making. The last thing we talked about was potential reasonable limits of the right, in which we expressed deliberate concern about allowing economic impacts to influence decision-making about the right to a healthy environment. Our team strongly believes that the health and wellbeing of people and the planet, inclusive of more-than-human beings, should be at the forefront of all decision-making.

In terms of the overall vibe check, the structure of the workshop and the conversation was great, it was really empowering to engage with so many other people concerned about making sure that the right to a healthy environment is just and equitable. But ultimately, the effectiveness of workshop participation will not become clear until we see the government’s “What We Heard” document, and how they implement the feedback that has been provided.


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