BILL NO. 69
1st Session, 64th General Assembly
70 Elizabeth II, 2021
Private Member's Bill
Redressing Environmental Racism Act
First Reading: October 29, 2021
WHEREAS a recent report from a working group of the United Nations Human Rights Council has noted the legacy of anti-black racism in Canada;
THEREFORE be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Redressing Environmental Racism Act.
2 In this Act,
(a) "Ministers" means the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister responsible for the Human Rights Act;
(b) "panel" means the panel established pursuant to this Act.
3 (1) The Ministers shall establish a panel, as set out in this Section, to examine the issue of environmental racism in the Province and provide recommendations to address it.
(2) The panel is to be composed of
(a) three members chosen by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change from among the members of the Round Table established pursuant to the Environment Act;
(b) two members chosen by the Minister responsible for the Human Rights Act from among the members of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission; and
(c) three members chosen by the Minister responsible for the Human Rights Act, of whom there must be one member from each of
(i) the African Nova Scotian community,
(ii) the First Nations community, and
(iii) the Acadian community.
(3) Her Majesty in right of the Province shall, subject to Section 6, pay the members of the panel such remuneration as is determined by the Ministers, together with the members' reasonable expenses.
4 (1) Within one year of the coming into force of this Act, the panel shall consult the public, on a Province-wide basis, about the issue of environmental racism, with special emphasis given to consultation with the African Nova Scotian, First Nations and Acadian communities, and provide a report to the Ministers that sets out its findings and recommendations.
(2) Subject to Section 6, the panel may provide funding for participation in the consultation referred to in subsection (1), and may, in its sole discretion, determine
(a) the recipients of funding; and
(b) the amount of funding to be provided to a particular recipient.
(3) The report referred to in subsection (1) must include
(a) an investigation into the causes and rates of cancer or any other negative health outcomes, including mental health outcomes, in communities that may have been negatively affected by environmental racism;
(b) an investigation into the effect of environmental racism on property values; and
(c) recommendations for addressing environmental racism including
(i) compensation for individuals or communities,
(ii) ongoing funding for community groups in affected communities, and
(iii) specific steps to ensure affected communities have access to
clean air and water.
5 The Ministers shall, within 10 days of receiving the report referred to in Section 4, table the report in the Assembly if the Assembly is then sitting or, where it is not then sitting, file the report with the Clerk of the Assembly.
6 The money required for the purpose of this Act must be paid out of money
appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature.
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