Saanich bolsters environmental stance

Saanich council agrees to new stipulations for city’s environmental bill of rights

  • Nov. 1, 2016 6:00 a.m.

A council resolution passed last week promises to put more meat on the city’s environmental bill of rights.

The resolution calls on the district to provide the Environment and Natural Areas Advisory Committee with staff resources to review the district’s commitment towards fulfilling an earlier council resolution passed in January.

The resolution endorsed the Declaration of the Right to a Healthy Environment under Blue Dot movement, a campaign by the David Suzuki Foundation to codify environmental rights that ultimately seeks inclusion of environmental rights in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Under the resolution passed in January, council endorses the right of all people to breathe clean air, drink clean water, consume safe food, access nature, know about pollutants and contaminants released into the local environment, and the right to participate in decision-making that will affect the environments.

Under the proposed review, committee and staff would work towards five goals: catalogue current environmental actions by the district; conduct a “gap analysis” of its attempt to fulfill the earlier council resolution; develop a list of model environmental rights, provide recommendations on new environmental objectives, targets, timelines and actions; and consult with residents and other stakeholders as part of the process.