SCAN’s Climate Action Awareness Campaign (SCAN) is a 14-day virtual event scheduled on social media from March 1 – 14, 2023. The topic is Climate Change – Adaptation and Mitigation with a spotlight on Bill C-226 (National Strategy to address environmental racism Act). SCAN (Sustainable Community Aid Network) is a Canadian non-profit organization established in August 2009. It aims to address Sustainability (Environmental, Social and Economic) issues affecting racialized/visible minority communities in Canada.
Bill C-226 is crucial to tackling Climate Change
Imagine a situation where part of our eco-system is ailing. The rest at risk bearing in mind that the eco-system consists of people and the environment, where all living things and non-living things reside, and our sustenance comes. This scenario is our current situation, and we should be panicking and taking urgent steps to mitigate the problem. This scenario is causing global warming, leading to changes in our climate (Climate Change). In the course of the campaign, Bill 226 will be highlighted as an example of a Climate Change Mitigation (Abatement) measure, showing Bill C-226’s need to be passed. We should understand that though Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities located in affected areas are targets of environmental racism, everyone else outside of that location is at risk. This risk is rising from the fact that the government inactions due to environmental racism leads to Climate Change.
Environmental racism in Canada
Environmental racism is the term used to describe environmental laws, regulations, or practices that unintentionally or intentionally disadvantage certain racial or ethnic groups, individuals, or communities. There are still gaps in regions under federal control, despite several provinces and territories having “environmental bills of rights” and legislative frameworks for addressing environmental issues. According to the report on environmental racism in Canada, non-scientific, undemocratic decisions and exclusionary practices, such as holding public hearings in remote locations and during inconvenient hours and using English-only materials when communicating with and conducting hearings for a non-English-speaking audience, are some of the factors of the disproportionate environmental burdens experienced by Indigenous and Black communities in Canada.
Poverty, a lack of political influence and representation, limited to lack of enforcement and protection, and neoliberal policy reform are among the sociopolitical elements that permit environmental racism. The report further states that environmental justice is the strategies or remedies for addressing environmental racism and envisions what is achievable when the condition is treated through various targeted policies. The tendency to confuse race and class, the emphasis on pollutants rather than the effects of social and environmental stressors on health, and the neglect of traditional ecological knowledge in environmental decision-making are all examples of limitations of the environmental justice lens in Canada.
Black Canadians’ experiences can be understood in the context of environmental racism as a whole, which has an impact on various racialized groups. A Toronto-based study indicated that racialized populations, particularly South Asian and Filipino groups, are disproportionately positioned near industrial sites that release a considerable amount of very harmful pollutants. Although it is unclear how being close to industrial sites affects exposure to pollutants, it is typically linked to noise, traffic, contaminated soil, odour, and subpar housing. Another study on the effects of air pollution found that Latino groups in Hamilton were most likely to be exposed to ambient air pollution.
The research that is now accessible on environmental racism in Canada offers insightful information. However, they also show that scholars and decision-makers still need to pay greater attention to this issue. It is well-recognised that racialized populations are more likely to be exposed to environmental threats. Racialized communities are more likely to encounter environmental risks due to current social and economic disadvantages, such as poverty, housing disparity, and unemployment. Due to historical inequalities in income and power, racialized areas are frequently found to be “sacrifice zones,” burdened with exposure to pollution, contamination, and hazardous waste. Projects like this story map explore aspects of how environmental racism impacts populations in Toronto, and explores the impacts on health, food security, transportation, green spaces, community services, and gentrification.
Support SCAN’s Climate Action Awareness Campaign
The purpose of SCAN’s Virtual Climate Action Awareness Campain is to raise awareness of climate change challenges and their solutions in Canada, especially in Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities. This campaign supports Bill – C226 (National strategy to address environmental racism) and wants to see it passed.
We invite you to support SCAN’s virtual Climate Action Awareness Campaign and join in the discussion come March 1 – 14, 2023. “Tweet “, “Retweet”, “like”, “share” and “follow” all the social media handles using these hashtags: #SCANClimateAction, #SCANClimateAction and #EnvRacismBillCanada2023. The handles are as follows: Facebook &LinkedIn: Sustainable Community Aid Network; Twitter: @s_can_org; Instagram: @sustainablecommunityaid. The more we engage in the discussions using hashtags, the more our voices will be heard.
We want your support in any way possible, including spreading the word before March 1, 2023. Do you want a front-row seat in driving this campaign? Then be a partner. You can be a sponsor/financial partner or Media partner. For more information on the partnership, go here. We look forward to a great campaign!
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