Five ‘Environmental Rights’ Questions with Brandy Burdeniuk

Brandy-Budeniuk.
Photo provided from Ms. Budeniuk’ LinkedIn Profile. 

Brandy Burdeniuk

EcoAmmo/ Principal, BDes, Industrial Design, LEED Accredited Professional Building Design + Construction

Business Development at EcoAmmo

1) What would having constitutional environmental rights (e.g. the right to clean air, clean water, safe food, to access nature, etc.) mean to you, and/or your organization?

“Across the board [constitutional environmental rights] allow for more collective agreement. They would help prevent polarizing the discussion when talking about other environmental issues; we’d all start at the same–

— place. Right now the question is ‘are [environmental rights] even important?’. But once they’d be part of the constitution, it would allow us to get past that first question of importance. We’d never have to preface discussions with whether or not they are important and why [….] we’d just get to talk about solving those environmental issues.”

2) What do you think people in Edmonton can and/or should do to further the cause of environmental rights? (Directly/Indirectly?)

“Have patience. A lot of people are just starting to recognize the importance of environmental rights, whereas [other] people have devoted their whole lives. Right now there is a ‘coming of age’. We need more discussion with Edmonton experts. Edmonton is a huge importer of knowledge and exporter of experts, we have incredible people in the science and humanities side who have actively made [environmental issues] part of their business culture. There were previous conversations that bent towards ‘the environment versus entrepreneurship’. But now you’re seeing more, [both] as an international and local trend, if you want to succeed in business, be it from office culture all the way to pleasing shareholders and eliminating risk, you have to include and address environmental issues. So people should just be patient and keep working towards those goals in whatever way they can.”

3) What are you (or your organization/business/group) doing to further the cause of environmental rights?

“For the last 10 years the business I am a part of, EcoAmmo, has worked to help people see where they can fit environmental improvements in their decisions, projects, etc. The aim of [EcoAmmo] is to move towards greater sustainability….so we come from place where we see environmental rights as important. We create an outlet for change by leading by example to improve where we live. For example, our focus is with ‘green’ building and efficiency. In Edmonton, we expanded the city’s market for green building choices, and so that is how I think we further the cause of environmental rights.”

4) 110 nations around the world recognize their citizens’ right to a healthy environment. Why do you think Canada hasn’t done this yet?

“We [Canadians] think we are so ‘resource rich’ because we see nature all the time. [So] by default we think we already exist in a healthy environment, and think we don’t need the help … —

EcoAmmo oogo provided via twitter: https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/747823365159739396/01SHZl9G.jpg

ecoammo_logo

–I think the Alberta government just started using the words ‘climate change’ about 600 days ago. In the previous conservative government we could not say climate change. But thankfully this has changed, the government is only now addressing the issue. Also, we [the people] are still so polarized in how we talk, and we don’t challenge our government. We don’t see the major challenges that will become more common from an environmental health and wellness issue. We just don’t see it in ‘our backyard’ we haven’t felt it first hand enough yet.”

 5) Would you be willing to sign the ‘Blue Dot Pledge” (*at http://bluedot.ca/join-us/), joining the over 100,000 Canadians, and declare that you “[b]elieve every Canadian deserves the right to a healthy environment”? .

“Yes. Absolutely.”

For more information on the work Ms. Budeniuk does, please visit EcoAmmo’s website at http://www.ecoammo.com. Also, Ms. Budeniuk is currently running for Edmonton city councillor for ward 11. So to stay informed of her campaign, follow her on twitter @votebrandy.

Five ‘Environmental Rights’ Questions with Kelcie Miller-Anderson

Photo Credit: Alberta Oil Magazine: http://www.albertaoilmagazine.com/2016/07/kelcie-miller-anderson/
Photo Credit: Alberta Oil Magazine: http://www.albertaoilmagazine.com/2016/07/kelcie-miller-anderson/

Kelcie Miller-Anderson

Founder at MycoRemedy

Canadas Top 20 Under 20,

Next 36 2016 Cohort

1) What would having constitutional environmental rights (e.g. the right to clean air, clean water, safe food, to access nature, etc.) mean to you, and/or your organization? 

“Access to a healthy environment is something I think that everyone deserves, having constitutional environmental rights are a fantastic first step in making this access a reality for all. I think we as a province, our communities, government, and industry, are already moving in the right direction to securing a healthy and sustainable future for Alberta’s ecosystems,

[and] having these constitutional rights in place are only going to further motivate and drive the creation of new clean technologies, and [improve] our current industries to lessen and ultimately reverse their impacts.”

2) What do you think people in Edmonton can and/or should do to further the cause of environmental rights?

“I think an important first step is to show the value [that] environmental rights have to our community and [the] commitment we have to them.[….] I believe we can show this by actively engaging in sustainable practices and making an effort to focus on being good environmental stewards as a community. If these rights are ever going to be ensured, it’s not going to just be the responsibility of the government, it’s also important for our communities to be actively engaged[.] [I]f we can show we are taking the first step to help secure environmental rights we will be able to lead by example [and] highlight their importance to the government.”

3) What are you (or your organization/business/group) doing to further the cause of environmental rights? (i.e. either directly or indirectly)

“Environmental rights aren’t going to be achieved by governmental regulations alone. Myself and my organization, MycoRemedy, are committed to creating access to healthy ecosystems, by creating new, low­ impact, natural technologies that can remediate and restore polluted soils and environments. Industry plays such an important role in our province, both socially and economically, and its important we are able to support both the industry and the environment at the same time. [The] way to create a prosperous future for Alberta, with a strong economy and healthy environment, is through environmental innovations and solutions that support both industry and ecosystems.”

4) 110 nations around the world recognize their citizens’ right to a healthy environment. Why do you think Canada hasn’t done this yet? (i.e. what do you think are the biggest obstacles in the way?)

“I don’t think [it’s] that Canada as a nation does not recognize or value the right to healthy environment, and I think that perhaps in the future this will come. Canada is ahead of many nations in terms of its environmental regulations set out to —

Photo Credit: MycoRemedy logo taken from LinkedIn website: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sns-technologists/comments?topic=6146154063961612288&type=U&scope=1240063&stype=C&a=CBrH&showModal=true
Photo Credit: MycoRemedy logo taken from: http://www.mycoremedy.com/

 

— protect our environment, however we also have an economy that is very dependent on resources. Although it’s the responsibility of the government to protect our environment, it’s also their responsibility to protect our industry sectors, jobs, and our economy. I think the big challenge at this point is our technology isn’t quite at the point to eliminate and minimize the environmental impacts of industry, but the government is actively encouraging the implementation and development of environmental solutions to green our industries, and I think they have helped us come a long way.”

5) Would you be willing to sign the ‘Blue Dot Pledge”, joining the over 100,000 Canadians, and declare that you “[b]elieve every Canadian deserves the right to a healthy environment”? .

Yes.

You can find out more about Ms. Miller-Anderson’s work at http://www.mycoremedy.com/

~ Jacob Marchel

Five ‘Environmental Rights’ Questions with Professor Cameron Jefferies

profile-2

Photo from the University of Alberta website:

https://www.ualberta.ca/law/about/contact/profiles/cameron-jefferies

Cameron Jefferies, BSc, LLB, LLM, SJD

Assistant Professor

Borden Ladner Gervais Fellow

University of Alberta, Faculty of Law

 

1) What would having constitutional environmental rights (e.g. the right to clean air, clean water, safe food, to access nature, etc.) mean to you?

“It is well understood that environmental protection and conservation is a fundamental value of Canadian society. National opinion polls consistently evidence this and our highest court has recognized it as well. Personally, I am interested in how we can achieve a more sustainable Canada and believe that recognizing environmental rights, at whatever level, means that Canadians will get a different tool to use in pursuit of improving their local environment and Canada’s reputation as an environmental steward. For me the discussion does not start and stop with constitutionalized rights. That might be an awesome end goal, but there are a whole bunch of intermediate steps that can be taken along the way—municipal declarations, provincial statutes, etc. These are all important pieces of the environmental rights movement.”

2) What do you think people in Edmonton can and/or should do to further the cause of environmental rights?

“At one level it is about educating yourself. What are environmental rights? How could they make a difference to me or my community? After that, it is about helping spread the word. Talk to your friends and family about these things, maybe send a letter or email to your city councillor letting them know what a healthy environment means to you!”

3) What are you as an academic doing to further the cause of environmental rights?

“In teaching my courses on environmental law, international environmental law, and sustainability I introduce students to the idea and potential operation of environmental rights in the Canadian context. I also explore related issues in my academic writing. This is definitely an aspect of emerging Canadian law and policy that can’t be ignored.”

4) 110 nations around the world recognize their citizens’ right to a healthy environment. Why do you think Canada hasn’t done this yet? (i.e. what do you think are the biggest obstacles in the way?)

“There are a number of obstacles. For one, most of our foundational constitutional documents were drafted back in the 1860s, well before most prominent law makers were aware of environmental conservation issues the way we are today. Then, when Canada patriated its constitution in the early 1980s and included the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, environmental rights did not attract enough attention to warrant inclusion. One of our biggest obstacles, then, is that our supreme laws do not recognize environmental protection and amending them to achieve this sort of recognition is difficult and not likely to happen—at least any time soon. Therefore, it falls to the federal government, the provinces, and even municipalities to consider different ways that they can include environmental rights in law and policy help Canada move towards a greener and healthier future.”

5) Would you be willing to sign the ‘Blue Dot Pledge”, joining the over 100,000 Canadians, and declare that you “[b]elieve every Canadian deserves the right to a healthy environment”? .http://bluedot.ca/join-us/

“Already done.”

Photo from the Oxford University Press:

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/marine-mammal-conservation-and-the-law-of-the-sea-9780190493141?cc=ca&lang=en&

You can learn more about Professor Jefferies, and his work, on the U of A Faculty of Law page here:

https://www.ualberta.ca/law/about/contact/profiles/cameron-jefferies

Additionally, you can purchase his new book entitled:

Marine Mammal Conservation and the Law of the Seaonline at https://global.oup.com/academic/product/marine-mammal-conservation-and-the-law-of-the-sea-9780190493141?cc=ca&lang=en&

~ Jacob Marchel

Five ‘Environmental Rights’ Questions with Miranda Jimmy

Photo Credit: Miranda Jimmy of RISE

Taken from Twitter: @TheMirandaJimmy

(https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/784904671211192320/V-ibhLp_.jpg)

Miranda Jimmy

RISE – Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton

https://www.facebook.com/RISEdmonton/

1) What would having constitutional environmental rights (e.g. the right to clean air, clean water, safe food, to access nature, etc.) mean to you, and/or your organization?

“I’m First Nations [Cree] so on a personal level it means a lot. You may have heard in the media about First Nations communities not having access to clean water, and although Northern Ontario receives a lot of attention, it recently came out that 90% of Alberta’s First Nations communities have been under a ‘boil advisory’ in the last 10 years. Not having access to fresh water is something that is hard to grasp for people […], so [constitutional environmental rights] would help bring awareness to these types of problems in [Canada].”

2) What do you think people in Edmonton can and/or should do to further the cause of environmental rights?

“First and foremost Edmonton is a government city. The decision makers of the province work here. So Edmontonians have good access to those people compared to those [living] in remote communities. So people in Edmonton have a responsibility, not to speak for those remote communities, but to be allies and bring their voice.”

3) What are you (or your organization) doing to further the cause of environmental rights?

“My organization is called RISE (Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton), where the idea of reconciliation means having a level of commitment from everyone involved…RISE aims to bring awareness not only to past reconciliation issues, but [also] current problems like water access, housing, education, [etc.]….again things most people in Canada take for granted. [With RISE] the simple thing we do that has a lot of impact is using social media to share news and stories on indigenous issues, and have people connect to us. [We want to] give people an opportunity to engage. If we can show that there is a present day issue, it creates a call to action to make a difference.”

4) 110 nations around the world recognize their citizens’ right to a healthy environment. Why do you think Canada hasn’t done this yet?

“I think there are two things. Firstly, it is change in the federal government going forward. Previously, both the Federal and Provincial [Conservative] governments had been complacent with environmental issues. Resource development trumped everything else…only focusing on the short term. Now more recently the LNG pipeline decision seems to make it clear that the Liberal government is taking a similar view. Secondly, as a society we take our environment for granted, Canadians think we have an endless supply of natural beauty and resources, maybe this is starting to change…but we as Canadians still cling to the idea of a vast wilderness.”

5) Would you be willing to sign the ‘Blue Dot Pledge”, joining the over 100,000 Canadians, and declare that you “[b]elieve every Canadian deserves the right to a healthy environment”? .

http://bluedot.ca/join-us/ 

“Yes, absolutely. I actually believe I already signed it.”

Photo Credit: RISE Logo —  Taken from Official Facebook Page –(https://www.facebook.com/RISEdmonton/photos/a.1452549211704840.1073741825.1452548438371584/1452549218371506/?type=1&theater)

You can learn more about Miranda Jimmy’s work with RISE on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RISEdmonton/ In addition, Ms. Jimmy is currently, running for City Councillor for Ward 5 — one platform is the access to green space. You can learn more about that here: http://mirandajimmy.com

~ Jacob Marchel