Inverness County approves environmental bill of rights

9 03 2016

It’s ‘a key foundation for all our decision-making,’ says councillor Jim Mustard

By Jennifer Ludlow, CBC News Posted: Mar 09, 2016 6:30 AM AT Last Updated: Mar 09, 2016 6:30 AM AT

Inverness County will consider the impact of all future decisions on the environment .

Inverness County will consider the impact of all future decisions on the environment . (Municipality of the County of Inverness)

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Inverness County is following in the footsteps of other municipalities by adopting a “Declaration of the Right to a Healthy Environment.”

Coun. Jim Mustard said this movement can be found across Canada, and municipal governments across the country have already taken up similar pledges. Closer to home, Antigonish County, the town of Antigonish, the Halifax Regional Municipality and Yarmouth have all adopted the declaration.

A resident of Inverness County presented the idea to council in December, with council unanimously adopting the declaration this week.

Jim Mustard

Coun. Jim Mustard. (Municipality of the County of Inverness)

Mustard said the declaration will support better decision-making for the future of communities’ health and well-being.

“It’s bringing our team together, and the environment is a key foundation for all our decision-making right now,” said Mustard.

He called it a new way of thinking as council considers initiatives.

“The important things about this [is] to breathe clean air, to drink and access clean water, eat safe and healthy food, access nature, to know about the pollutants and contaminants released in the local environment, and participate in decision-making.”

The goal of the national movement is to revise the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to include a declaration of the importance of the environment.

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