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To: Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Legault

Stop environmental racism in Kanehsatà:ke!

Stop environmental racism in Kanehsatà:ke!

Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier François Legault,

As you may have been informed by your respective ministries, the G&R Recycling facility in Kanehsatà:ke, Québec, has been reported to contain toxic waste without permits or precautions to prevent spillage into the environment. Health experts cited in local media and the Toronto Star identify this waste as a threat to human health. The longer this waste sits unmanaged and untreated on Indigenous land, the greater the threat to all adjacent communities and waterways connecting with the St. Laurence seaway.

Evidence from documents obtained through Freedom of Information Requests establish that Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Québec Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques have been aware of the presence of toxic waste on the site since 2019. In spite of this, neither the federal nor the provincial government has taken decisive action to secure the site. Instead, they have consistently redirected responsibility to one another, leading to a persisting danger for local residents with no clear roadmap for cleanup.

G&R is no isolated incident. In 2019, the United Nations rapporteur for human rights and hazardous substances stressed that Indigenous Peoples are “disproportionately affected” by toxic waste. At Grassy Narrows, much of the population suffered from Mercury Poisoning. At Fort McMurray, First Nations communities continue to bear the brunt of the energy sector’s activities.

At a time when Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is a national dialogue, actions must follow words to alleviate the historic and systemic mistreatment of Indigenous communities. We the undersigned in this network are calling on you today to mobilize the vast resources of the federal and provincial governments to immediately secure and decontaminate this dump site in Kanehsatà:ke and others like it.

We also ask the federal government put forward concrete plans to enact the measures proposed in the now-defunct Bill C-230, which would have revealed the discriminatory effects of environmental policy-making and, we hope, avoid further instances of unregulated and dangerous waste sites on Indigenous lands and adjacent to the homes of the country's racialized populations.

Concretely, as an immediate display of good faith and commitment to Reconciliation, we demand that the federal government coordinate with the Province of Québec and Band Council to develop a plan to clean up the G&R facility with a publicly-available timeline and milestones.

Sincerely,

The citizens signing this petition along with allied groups listed further below.

Why is this important?

BIPOC folks bear a disproportionate share of the impacts of pollution in Canada, and are among the least responsible for it. Settler folks must support them in their crises to contribute to building a massive movement to transform the country. Environmental racism in Kanehstatà:ke is one such example. The G&R dump is leaking toxic waste into streams and must be cleaned up! **For full disclosure of research and dump data, see the website listed on this petition page.

This call to action is currently supported by the following organizations across Québec and Canada:

350 Canada
Action cancer du sein du Québec / Breast Cancer Action Quebec
Action Environnement Basse Laurentides
Amnesty International Canada (English Speaking)
Amnistie internationale Canada (francophone)
Association des étudiant.e.s diplômé.e.s du département d'histoire de l'Université de Montréal (AÉDDHUM)
Association québécoise des médecins pour l'environnement (AQME)
Black Environmental Initiative
Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment/ Association canadienne des infirmières et infirmiers pour l'environnement (CANE-AIIE)
Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
Canadian Coalition for Environmental and Climate Justice
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (SCFP)
Centre justice et foi
CFMS HEART
Chrysaliid Design
Ciel et Terre
Climate Justice Laurier
Climate Justice Montreal
Climate Pledge Collective
Coalition Alerte à l'enfouissement Rivière-du-Nord
Coalition Verte / Green Coalition
Collectif La ville que nous voulons
Com'femme
Créat’heure Éducative
David Suzuki Foundation / Fondation David Suzuki
DAWN Canada
Divest McGill
Earth Action Inc.
Eau Secours
Eco-Art Workshop Program
Environmental Defence
ENvironnement JEUnesse
Extinction Rebellion Québec
Fridays for Future Toronto
Front commun pour la transition énergétique
Front commun québécois pour une gestion écologique des déchets (FCQGED)
Gidimt'en Checkpoint
GreenFaith Montreal
Groundswell Projects
Ilot centre de crise de laval
Indigenous Climate Action
Indigenous Land Defence Across Borders
Intre-G Productions
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
L'R des centres de femmes
La CEVES
Le Collectif Soignons la justice sociale/The Caring for Social Justice Collective
Les enjeux de l'insecticide Bti sur la biodiversité
MARE (Mouvement d'action régional en environnement)
Mères au front
Mères au front de Rouyn-Noranda et leurs alié.e.s
Mères au Front Vaudreuil Soulanges
Mouvement d'éducation populaire autonome de Lanaudière (MÉPAL)
Mouvement d'éducation populaire et d'action communautaire du Saguenay-Lac Saint-Jean (MEPAC)
Mudgirls Natural Building Collective
Mutant Akademy / Revolt Motion
Nature Canada
Nature Hudson
No More Silence
Nova Scotia Voice of Women for Peace
OPIRG Toronto
Organisation of Urban Planning Students at McGill
People's Health Movement Canada - Mouvement populaire pour la santé au Canada
Planners Network-Montreal Chapter
Pour le futur Montréal
Pour Nos Enfants / For Our Kids Montréal
Prevent Cancer Now
Projet accompagnement solidarité Colombie
Quit RBC / Lâche RBC
Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive
RAVEN (Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs)
Raven Knits Design
Recherche Indépendante de retraité.e.s en Écologie
Regroupement d'éducation populaire en action communautaire des régions de Québec et de Chaudière-Appalaches
Regroupement écocitoyen de Sainte-Marthe-sur-Le-Lac
Relais-femmes
Research for the Front Lines
Réseau Alternatif et Communautaire des Organismes (RACOR) en santé mentale de l'île de Montréal
Réseau d'action des femmes en santé et services sociaux
Réseau des femmes des Laurentides
Réseau des Tables régionales de groupes de femmes du Québec
Réseau Québecois Action Santé Femmes (RQASF)
Save Fairview Forest - Sauvons la Forêt Fairview
Seniors For Climate Action Now! SCAN!
Sierra Club Québec
Small Change Fund
SOS territoire
Stand.Earth
Table de concertation de Laval en condition féminine
Table de concertation du mouvement des femmes de la Mauricie
Table des groupes de femmes de Montréal
Table régionale des organismes volontaires d'éducation populaire (TROVEP) de Montréal
Table ronde des OVEP de l'Estrie (TROVEPE)
The Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities and Community Health Project
True North Insight - Voie boréale
Union paysanne
Voix juives indépendantes - Montréal
Women's Healthy Environments Network

How it will be delivered

With the 100 supporting groups and a sufficient number of citizen signups, we will be taking this issue to national media while also leveraging the petition to mobilize a cross-partisan coalition of MPs from the Liberal, NDP and Green parties as a task force pushing for cleanup of the dump and adoption of concrete measures to fight instances of environmental racism across the country.

Updates

2022-01-20 13:22:07 -0500

10 signatures reached