Albertans can petition ministers on environmental matters

Alberta is known for the unique beauty of its diverse landscape and wildlife.

Alberta is known for the unique beauty of its diverse landscape and wildlife. Like Canadians across the country, residents of Alberta are proud of their natural heritage and are increasingly concerned with protecting it.

To help Canadians get answers to their environmental questions and concerns, Parliament introduced the environmental petitions process in 1995. The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development administers the process on behalf of the Auditor General of Canada.

The process is a simple one, which allows residents of Canada to pose questions to ministers of federal departments and agencies about environmental and sustainable development matters that fall within federal jurisdiction. Ministers are required to reply in writing to the petitioner within 120 days.

With the petitioner’s consent, the Commissioner posts both the petition and the ministerial reply on the website of the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. This helps increase public awareness of the issues that have been raised as well as the government’s response.

Environmental petitions to date have covered a diverse range of issues affecting Albertans such as the use of manure allegedly containing livestock antibiotics and its impact on human health, monitoring water resources, assessing the cumulative environmental effects of oil sands projects, air and water pollution, hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and climate change.

To help petitioners navigate the process, the Commissioner has prepared a guide, called “Getting Answers”. For more information on the environmental petitions process, contact the Office of the Auditor General at 1-888-761-5953 (ext. 2923) or petitions@oag-bvg.gc.ca.

Related Links:

Video on the Environmental Petitions process: http://tiny.cc/l0156w

Environmental petitions catalogue http://tiny.cc/1x156w

Getting Answers – A Guide to the Environmental Petitions Process: http://tiny.cc/1t156w

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