24 SEPTEMBER 2010
It’s About the Next Generation
Green Party leader Jack MacDougall says it is inexcusable that none of the other parties have addressed the environment in their platforms. New Brunswickers deserve to have the right to clean air and clean water, so Green MLA s will work to enact an Environmental Bill of Rights to entrench those rights in law, said the Green Party Leader.
Citizens victimized by pollution or a contaminated environment have often complained that the Department of Environment is unresponsive to their concerns and that the justice system is not an option.
It is no longer a case of just protecting the environment from harm, we have to reverse the damage that s been done. An Environmental Bill of Rights would put the legal obligation on the Department of Environment to become an effective enforcement agency and it would open up the courts to citizens seeking clean-up orders and legal redress for damages, said MacDougall.
The Green Party Leader said he wants to see an Environmental Ombudsman appointed as an Officer of the Legislature to help citizens seeking environmental justice.
Our fiscal deficit and debt are bad enough, but the environmental debt we have accumulated means our children are going to have a much tougher time of it than we have. We have a responsibility to create legal and legislative tools to restrict activities that degrade the environment and restore damage that has already been done, said MacDougall. And government has to be prepared to help people when they are victimized by a degraded environment, not brush them off, he said.
An Environmental Bill of Rights is one of the 24 planks in the Green Party’s environmental platform, Building a Culture of Sustainability.