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DepartmentsPlanningSustainabilityCity of Powell River Declaration of the Right to a Healthy Environment

City of Powell River Declaration of the Right to a Healthy Environment

The City Declaration of the Right to a Healthy Environment

WHEREAS municipalities and regional districts are the governments nearest to people and the natural environment, and therefore share a deep concern for the welfare of the natural environment and understand that a healthy environment is inextricably linked to the health of individuals, families, future generations and communities;

AND WHEREAS fostering the environmental well-being of the community is a municipal purpose under section 7(d) of the Community Charter;

The Council of the City of Powell River declares that:

1. Every resident has the right to live in a healthy environment, including the right to:

  • a. breathe clean air;

  • b. drink clean water;

  • c. consume safe food;

  • d. access nature;

  • e. know about pollutants and contaminants released into the local environment; and

  • f. participate in decision making that will affect the environment;

2. The City of Powell River has the authority, within its jurisdiction, to respect, protect, fulfill and promote these rights;

3. The City of Powell River will consider the precautionary principle when making decisions: where threats of serious or irreversible damage to human health or the environment exist, Powell River will consider cost effective measures to prevent the degradation of the environment and protect the health of its citizens, and the absence of full scientific certainty will not be viewed as sufficient reason for Powell River to postpone such measures;

4. The City of Powell River will endeavour to apply full cost accounting. When evaluating reasonably foreseeable costs of proposed actions and alternatives, Powell River will consider costs to human health and the environment;

5. By December 31st, 2016, Powell River will consider objectives, targets, timelines and actions it will take, within its jurisdiction and in conjunction with other community and municipal plans, to address the residents’ right to a healthy environment under section 1, including priority actions to:

  • a. Ensure infrastructure and development projects for the City of Powell River and the private sector respect the objective of protecting the environment, including air quality;

  • b. Address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and implementing adaptation measures;

  • c. Responsibly increase density in accordance with growth and servicing strategies that respect the objective of a healthy environment;

  • d. Prioritize walking, cycling and public transit as preferred modes of transportation;

  • e. Prioritize infrastructure and protected water sources for the provision of safe and accessible drinking water;

  • f. Promote the availability of safe food

  • g. Reduce solid waste and promote recycling, re-use and composting;

  • h. Establish and maintain accessible green spaces;

6. The City of Powell River will review the objectives, targets, timelines and actions of its Sustainability Plans every five (5) years, and measure progress toward fulfilling this Declaration;

7. The City of Powell River will encourage the governments of the Province of British Columbia and Canada to recognize citizens’ right to live in a healthy environment; and

8. The City of Powell River will consult with residents as part of this process.