author: bluedot | contributor

 To learn more about how you can take action to #fixCEPA, visit http://bluedot.ca/stories/cepa/#action

Right now, the Federal Minister of Health, and the Minster of Environment and Climate Change have until October 15, 2017 to decide on whether to act on the recently proposed changes to the Canadian Environmental Protections Act (CEPA).

Set forth in these proposed changes are recognition of the right to a healthy environment, national air and water quality standards, and improved access to information for better public participation. If adopted, these changes would strengthen Canada’s environmental laws immensely – laws that have allowed Canada to fall behind on environmental performance. However, these changes are not guaranteed, and right now Canadians are raising their voices and calling on the federal government to make the right decision.

In February of 2017, Regina City Council passed a municipal declaration in support of the “Right to a Healthy Environment” for all Canadians. This was the second declaration in Saskatchewan and the first for a major prairie city in Canada. This non-binding declaration shows that the City of Regina and its residents can be leaders on environmental issues and that public participation is required for a democracy to best serve its citizens.

Over the last two years, I have had many conversations with community members about big problems such as environmental regulation, energy divestment, climate change, as well as many others. Time and time again, these conversations often end at “so what can someone like me actually do?”

My response is, and always will be, get involved. Take whatever action you are comfortable with: write your elected leaders, sign a petition, or volunteer for a group or organization that you believe in. Whatever it is, remember that change starts with you.

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