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 Multi Year Program Partnerships

Supporting a Proactive Coalition for Policy Advocacy around Climate Change Issues

Within this priority, the Foundation has agreed to provide an additional five years of support to Ecojustice and the “Recognizing our Right to a Healthy Environment” initiative as it is a critical piece of the climate justice/climate change policy solutions framework.

Ecojustice: Recognizing our Right to a Healthy Environment
A Dynamic Strategy for Policy Change

In 2011 the Catherine Donnelly Foundation and Ecojustice embarked on a radical goal; to see environmental rights recognized as part of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. When our highest law recognizes that environmental rights are human rights, it will force existing laws, regulations and policies at all levels of government to meet that standard. It may also compel the creation of new laws. Impacted individuals and communities will have a clear path to hold polluters and governments accountable for environmental harms and protect their health.

Five years ago, Ecojustice helped their clients Ada Lockridge and Ron Plain of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation (located in Sarnia’s chemical valley) launch a lawsuit against the Ontario government and Suncor Energy. A recent settlement has resulted in the province’s commitment to control pollution in toxic hot spots (like Sarnia) and to share information with the public. This is a crucial turn of events and the kind of action expected as a result of the case. Environmental rights are gaining traction with a federal Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) being re-introduced, Ontario moving forward with a review of its EBR and more than 130 municipalities across Canada signing a declaration in support of the right to a healthy environment. Now, Canadians are talking about the need for constitutional recognition in courtrooms, legislatures and town halls. But we are not done yet.

Canadians’ right to a healthy environment will be recognized in the Charter. International momentum keeps building, and citizens across Canada want this change. Realizing a vision of a supreme law that reflects our values, compels action on environmental protection and secures our natural heritage for future generations is why the Catherine Donnelly Foundation is proud to continue supporting Ecojustice’s vital work – Recognizing our Right to a Healthy Environment.

For more information on the “Right to a Healthy Environment” program visit

In addition to our partnership with Ecojustice, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation is committed to investing in a proactive coalition for policy advocacy around climate change. As a result, in 2016-2017 the Foundation will research, convene dialogues and engage with potential allies, actors and funders to build and support strategic alliances for strong climate policy and action in order to create a clear engagement map.

Participation in this funding priority is by invitation only.

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Supporting First Nations/Métis/Indigenous Clean Energy Developments in Communities

The Catherine Donnelly Foundation will actively seek out partnerships with actors/allies/funders currently engaged with/within Indigenous communities. This will allow the CDF to explore opportunities to further act on Truth & Reconciliation commitments. This stream will also support advancing greater First Nation’s incorporation of clean energy projects as a climate justice and economic/social development solution.

This could include supporting:

The Foundation affirms the principle that this stream must be “Indigenous-led” and that the CDF would need to research strategic insertion points. An initial “Idea Generation meeting” is proposed for Winter 2017 in order to create a clear engagement map for Supporting First Nations/Métis/Indigenous Clean Energy Developments in communities.

Participation in this funding priority is by invitation only.

Return to Environmental Enhancement Initiatives Main Page

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