The Solution

What are we fighting for? A set of strong, enduring laws that will protect nature and democracy.  

During the 2015 federal election, Canadians spoke loud and clear, signaling that our need for strong legal protection for the environment – the ecosystems, air and waters that sustain our economy, our health and our futures – mattered. And the Liberal party responded, making a number of commitments to repair strengthen Canada’s environmental laws.

It's time to start building towards a better environmental future.

Ten of Canada’s leading non-profit environmental organizations working on national policy issues have developed platform priorities regarding rebuilding and strengthening Canada’s environmental laws.* 

To ensure Canadians have strong, lasting environmental legal protection, political parties must commit to:

1. Rebuild and strengthen Canada’s environmental laws and recognize environmental rights, so as to:

a) Ensure all proposed development requiring federal approval contributes to sustainability, that the public is properly consulted in the assessment and decision-making, and that the cumulative, regional impacts of projects are fully evaluated;

b) Protect all fish and their habitat in all lakes, rivers and marine waters in Canada;

c) Strengthen and fully implement Canada’s species at risk legislation, allowing for appropriate levels of funding for COSEWIC, recovery strategies and use of federal safety net to protect species where federal leadership is required; and

d) Enshrine in Canada’s Charter our right to a healthy environment.


2. Develop environmental laws in an open and collaborative manner, so that they:

a) Are informed by scientific evidence, Indigenous knowledge and precautionary principle;

b) Ensure citizens’ voices are heard in decision-making and the Crown’s constitutional duties to aboriginal peoples are upheld; and

c) Entrench requirements for science-based monitoring and public reporting.


To read the full briefing, which also covers freshwater protection, terrestrial and marine conservation, and climate leadership, please click here.

For more detail about proposed solutions please see our Resources page.

Your voice matters. Join the movement to protect the ecosystems, air and waters that sustain our economy, our health and our futures.

*Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, Greenpeace Canada, Nature Canada, Pembina Institute, Sierra Club Canada, World Wildlife Fund and West Coast Environmental Law.

Federal EA Reform EA Summit Have Your Say