Bioethics Blogs

We Need to Address Environmental Racism In Nova Scotia

Ingrid Waldron calls for public support of Nova Scotia Bill 111: An Act to Address Environmental Racism.

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Environmental racism is the disproportionate location of polluting industries, sites, and other environmental hazards close to racially marginalized communities and the working poor. It has serious implications for the health and well-being of communities that have historically been marginalized.

On April 29, 2015, a Private Member’s Bill entitled Bill 111: An Act to Address Environmental Racism was introduced in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly by Lenore Zann, NDP Critic for Human Rights and Aboriginal Affairs.

The purpose of this first-ever legislation on environmental racism is to consult with Mi’kmaw, African Nova Scotian and Acadian communities throughout the province in order to provide them with an opportunity to share their concerns about environmental racism and collaborate with government to devise strategies and solutions to address this issue.

Duncan’s Cove, Nova Scotia. Photo Credit: Angel Petropanagos

The Act requires several Ministers to establish a panel to examine the issue of environmental racism in Nova Scotia and to provide recommendations. The panel is to be composed of:

  • Three members chosen by the Minister of Environment from among the members of the Round Table established pursuant to the Environment Act;
  • Two members chosen by the Minister responsible for the Human Rights Act from among the members of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission; and
  • Three members chosen by the Minister responsible for the Human Rights Act, of whom there must be one from each of the following: (1) the First Nations’ community, (2) the African Nova Scotian community, (3) and the Acadian community.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.