A Notice of Motion for the May 5 City Council meeting has been tabled by Trinity-Spadina Councillor Mike Layton and seconded by Scarborough Centre Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker that would establish an Environmental Bill of Rights for the City of Toronto.
Environmental rights would ensure that Toronto’s by-laws and policies protect the basic elements of the city’s survival, such as clean air, safe water, and unpolluted land.
The declaration asks Toronto Council to take action through regular assessment and public reporting of the city’s progress on key sustainability objectives.
It would commit Toronto to make decisions in a way that protects, fulfills and promotes Torontonians’ right to a healthy environment — and urges other levels of government to do the same.
**Tell Toronto city council to vote yes for our right to a healthy environment!
Send a message to your councillor today: CLICK HERE. Tell them to vote yes to protecting the people and places we love.
RECOMMENDATIONS IN MOTION
- City Council formally recognize that people are part of the environment, and that a healthy environment is inextricably linked to the well-being of our communities. In doing so, the City declares that all people have the right to live in a healthy environment, including:
- The right to breathe clean air
b. The right to drink clean water
c. The right to consume safe food
d. The right to access nature
e. The right to know about pollutants and contaminants released into the local environment
f. The right to participate in decision-making that will affect the environment
- City Council recognize its responsibility to respect, protect, fulfill, and promote these rights and that where threats of serious or irreversible damage to human health or the environment exist, the City shall take cost effective measures to prevent the degradation of the environment and protect the health of Torontonians.
- City Council direct the City Manager to include environmental and health impacts when evaluating reasonably foreseeable costs of proposed actions, policies, and programs.
- City Council and its committees continue their work with residents and other experts to set specific objectives, targets, timelines, and actions that the City will take within its jurisdiction to fulfill residents’ rights to a healthy environment and continue to review and revise those targets, which include:
- Ensuring an equitable distribution of environmental benefits and burdens within the municipality, preventing the development of pollution “hot spots”;
b. Ensuring infrastructure and development projects protect the environment, including air quality;
c. Addressing climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and implementing adaptation measures;
d. Responsibly increasing density;
e. Prioritizing walking, cycling and public transit as preferred modes of transportation;
f. Ensuring adequate infrastructure for the provision of safe and accessible drinking water;
g. Promoting the availability of safe foods;
h. Reducing solid waste and promote recycling and composting;
i. Establishing and maintaining accessible green spaces in all residential neighbourhoods.
- City Council direct the City Manager to send a letter to the Provincial Government calling for a public review of the Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights in order to improve the Act and to include recognition that all people have the right to live in a healthy environment.
- City Council direct the City Manager to send a letter to the Federal Government calling for the development of federal legislation that recognizes that all people have the right to live in a healthy environment.
- **Tell Toronto city council to vote yes for our right to a healthy environment!Send a message to your councillor today: CLICK HERE. Tell them to vote yes to protecting the people and places we love.