The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) , with the support of Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces in Canada (ACW), released a report that explores the presence of, and potential for, workers’ environmental rights in Canada.
The report looks at the issue from the perspective of occupational health and safety (OHS) rights and laws in Canada, and in the context of a growing movement which increasingly recognizes the right to a healthy environment. In Canada, the patchwork of environmental protection legislation across the country does not sufficiently consider the rights of workers and their role as stewards with responsibilities to promote environmental justice for the communities affected by their work activities. This paper proposes a framework for workers’ environmental rights, and in identifying these and other opportunities for getting these rights recognized, we hope to start a conversation with allies about how to advance workers’ environmental rights in Canada.
We also hope that the framework for workers’ environmental rights serves as a tool for action on climate change and for a just transition to a sustainable economy.