On November 8th at the Annual General Meeting the congregation of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg adopted a resolution calling for making a clean environment (water, air and soil) a human right. The resolution was passed almost unanimously with just one abstention. The resolution commits the congregation to advocating for the cause.
At a minimum letters will be sent to the three levels of government. The Premier of Manitoba, Greg Selinger, has made a commitment to introduce a bill in support of the issue at the next session of the legislature opening November 16th. The congregation will send a letter of support.
Resolution for the Right to a Healthy Environment
WHEREAS Canadians share a deep concern for our environment and recognize its inherent value;
WHEREAS a healthy environment is inextricably linked to the health of individuals, families and communities;
WHEREAS Canadians have an individual and collective responsibility to protect the environment of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations;
WHEREAS action or inaction that results in significant environmental harm could compromise our health, well-being, and prosperity;
WHEREAS the First Peoples of Canada have inherent indigenous rights and laws that include teachings on how to care for the earth;
WHEREAS more than 110 countries specifically recognize environmental rights in their constitutions;
WHEREAS the principles of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg, as enshrined in the statement of purpose in our Articles of Incorporation, call for respect for the interdependent web of life and for the inherent worth and dignity of persons:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg] supports that all Canadians have the right to live in a healthy environment, including:
- the right to clean air, clean water, clean food and vibrant ecosystems;
- public participation in environmental decision-making;
- access to environmental information;
- access to justice when environmental rights are infringed; and
- whistle blower protection.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg sent a letter to city council of Winnipeg, the Manitoba government, and the federal government calling for the development of provincial and federal legislation that legally protects every person’s right to live in a healthy environment.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg advocates1 for the legal recognition of Canadians’ right to clean air, clean water, clean food and vibrant ecosystems.
1 Advocacy could include the following activities:
- Encourage your community to join the Blue Dot movement
- Sign on to the campaign and join a pan-Canadian network of organizations that want the right to a healthy environment recognized for all Canadians