BILL NO. 22
1st Session, 64th General Assembly
70 Elizabeth II, 2021
Private Member's Bill
Redress of Harm and Environmental Racism Act
The Honourable Iain Rankin
First Reading: October 19, 2021
AND WHEREAS the residents of the African Nova Scotian community located in the south end of Shelburne County were subjected to the operations and toxins of a landfill that operated uphill from the community for over 75 years;
AND WHEREAS the Mi'kmaq community of Pictou Landing First Nation located in Boat Harbour was subjected to the creation of a man-made harbour, pipeline infrastructure and airborne toxins resulting from the operations of a pulp mill;
AND WHEREAS there are many more instances—both documented and undocumented—in the ongoing relationship between the Government and Indigenous, African Nova Scotian, Black and other racialized communities of hazardous projects located near their lived environments;
2 In this Act, "environmental racism" means systemic, racial discrimination whereby a community or communities of people who are Indigenous, African Nova Scotian, Black or otherwise racialized are subjected to policies, laws, regulations, built infrastructure or enforcement measures that unwillingly expose their lived environments to poisons, pollutants, toxins, waste and other life-threatening hazards.
(a) developing a consultation process to engage Indigenous, African Nova Scotian, Black and other racialized communities to collect data, both empirical and anecdotal, on the harms and negative health outcomes caused by environmental racism;
(b) consulting with Indigenous, African Nova Scotian, Black and other racialized communities towards developing a reconciliation process to acknowledge and redress the harms and negative health outcomes caused by environmental racism;
(c) working with staff in the Department of Environment and Climate Change and the Department of Public Works to review environmental laws and regulations, built infrastructure and enforcement measures to assess and measure their contributions towards environmental racism, and develop a strategy and action plan to remedy those harms;
(d) reviewing applications, assessments and approvals for all infrastructure projects located within a five-kilometre radius of Indigenous, African Nova Scotian, Black and other racialized communities to ensure that consultations with those communities are completed appropriately, are culturally informed and include a consideration for the economic development opportunities for those communities and their members; and
(e) working with staff in the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to ensure that traditional knowledge, oral stories and the impacts of environmental racism are integrated into the environmental stewardship curriculum.
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