Green Party Celebrates Historic Passage of Bill C-226: A Landmark Victory for Environmental Justice

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada is thrilled to announce a significant milestone in the fight for environmental justice with the passage of Bill C-226, the National Strategy Respecting Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice Act. This groundbreaking legislation, a private members bill from MP and  Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, has successfully passed all stages in the House of Commons and has now cleared all steps in the Senate. It will soon become law once the procedural step of Royal Assent is completed.

This new law has had the support of hard-working grassroots community members from Pictou Landing and Shelburne  Nova Scotia,  to Kanesatake Quebec to Grassy Narrows Ontario and Aamjiwnaang First Nation. Environmental groups have campaigned from coast to coast to coast. The bill’s passage represents work across party lines, from first sponsor former Liberal MP Lenore Zann, to Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault to NDP critic Laurel Collins. The Green Party of Canada extends its deep gratitude to Dr. Ingrid Waldron a champion of this issue and key in achieving the bill’s passage. The bill’s sponsor in the Senate, extraordinary Indigenous Manitoba Senator Dr. Mary Jane McCallum has performed procedural miracles. Our deep  gratitude to all the advocates, community leaders, and legislators who have worked tirelessly to bring this important issue to the forefront.

Bill C-226 mandates the development of a national strategy to address and mitigate the impacts of environmental racism, a critical step towards ensuring that all Canadians, particularly marginalized and Indigenous communities, are protected from disproportionate environmental hazards. The legislation requires the Minister of the Environment to collaborate with various stakeholders to create and implement this strategy, with a focus on meaningful consultation and cooperation with affected communities.

“Today marks a historic victory in our journey towards environmental justice,” said Leader Elizabeth May. “The passage of Bill C-226 represents a commitment to addressing the long-standing and deeply entrenched issue of environmental racism in Canada. This legislation is a testament to the power of collective action and the importance of ensuring that all voices, especially those of marginalized communities, are heard and respected in our environmental policies.”

Key components of Bill C-226 include:

  • Development of a National Strategy: To assess, prevent, and address environmental racism across Canada.
  • Consultation and Cooperation: Ensuring meaningful involvement of Indigenous, racialized, and other marginalized communities in the strategy’s development and implementation.
  • Implementation of Measures: Possible amendments to federal laws, increased community involvement in environmental policymaking, compensation for affected individuals or communities, and collection of data on health outcomes related to environmental hazards.

“This legislation is not just about addressing environmental hazards; it’s about acknowledging and rectifying the systemic injustices faced by marginalized communities,” emphasized Deputy Leader Jonathan Pedneault. “It is a crucial step towards a more equitable and just Canada, where every community has the right to a safe and healthy environment.”

“Environmental racism is a pervasive issue that has affected too many communities for too long,” added MP Mike Morrice. “With the passage of Bill C-226, we are taking concrete steps to address these injustices and work towards a Canada where everyone has access to a safe and healthy environment. I am proud to support this critical legislation and stand with those who have fought tirelessly for this cause.”

Bill C-226 is the third piece of Green legislation to be made law starting with the Lyme Disease Act and the bill to ban keeping whales and dolphins in captivity. This track record proves the Greens are not a one issue party. Greens have established  new laws in pursuit of  social justice,  supporting marginalized communities, helping Canadians  struggling with a devastating disease whose prevalence has increased due to climate change and  for marine mammals and animal rights. Very few private members’ bills ever become law. These successes should encourage more Canadians to elect more Greens.


For more information or to arrange an interview : 

Fabrice Lachance Nové

Press secretary


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