Changing the Nature of Our Constitutional Default: The Fight for a Right to a Healthy Environment

Katelyn Joanna Jones


The convergence of environmental law, constitutional law, international law and human rights in the formation and steady acceptance of environmental constitutionalism is a relatively new occurrence. Environmental rights are included in 147 out of the 193 national constitutions worldwide. Despite this collective commitment to environmental protection, Canada’s polluted air, disappearing forests, contaminated waterways and the human health consequences associated with such ills continue to receive no constitutional protection. If the existing legal framework is unable to protect this right, Canadians will demand express recognition of it. Silence – as our constitutional default – is an inadequate response to the growing need for the right to a healthy environment to receive codification.


Constitutional Law; Environmental Law;the right to a healthy environment; Airborne Pollutants; Canadian environmental policy

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