For immediate release.
Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 9 May 2023:
The announcement that Canada will make a bid for a 2028-2030 seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) is an occasion for the government to look in the mirror at how its own commitments and actions fall short on upholding human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and to change course.
A just response to the climate crisis and Indigenous rights are highlighted among the principles foundational to Canada’s run. However, across the land currently known as Canada, fossil fuel companies continue to push through infrastructure projects against the sovereign will of Indigenous peoples, abetted by law enforcement agencies. Canadian resource extraction companies continue to directly violate human rights in other countries, including the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment.
Meanwhile, Canada continues to fall short of doing its fair share of the global effort to limit and respond to the climate crisis, causing massive suffering, death, and displacement, with the Global South and frontline communities bearing the brunt of the impacts. Thousands of migrants in Canada – many of whom have been pushed from their homes by climate-related causes – still face unsafe working conditions and lack access to basic services, which should be remedied by allowing access to permanent resident status for all.
“Canada can play a constructive role on the Human Rights Council, but to be taken seriously in this run, the government has to show the world that it recognizes and is reining in the destructive business model that allows fossil fuel companies to violate Indigenous and human rights while raking in billions of dollars in profits,” said Caroline Brouillette, Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada. “That will be the test of uniting humility with ambition – the approach the government has promised.”
Canada’s farthest-reaching network of organizations working on climate and energy issues, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada is a coalition of 150 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Our membership brings environmental groups together with trade unions, First Nations, social justice, development, health and youth organizations, faith groups and local, grassroots initiatives.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Vicky Coo, Communications Lead