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April 22nd, 2022

The NDP at the UN to call for legal personality status over the St. Lawrence River

NDP Deputy Leader Alexandre Boulerice is in New York to push for the recognition of the rights of the St. Lawrence River and its watersheds

NEW YORK — Today, on Earth Day, Alexandre Boulerice, NDP Deputy Leader and Deputy Environment Critic, delivered a speech at the United Nations in New York, calling for a legal personality status for the St. Lawrence River and its watersheds. As part of a dialogue organized by the UN on the theme "In Harmony with Nature", he discussed his bill that he plans to introduce next Monday, so that ecosystems like the St. Lawrence River can be better protected and thus help environmental health.

“Human beings can defend themselves, but can the River and its streams defend themselves? Laws do exist, but they are too often circumvented, or poorly enforced and respected,” said Boulerice. “This is why we have undertaken this initiative to give the River the tools to defend and protect itself. In doing so, our bill has the fundamental intention of placing the River in the perspective of reconciliation with First Nations.”

Boulerice was joined by Ms. Yenny Vega Cárdenas of the International Observatory for the Rights of Nature (IORN), who was also invited to speak at the United Nations. The IORN was actively involved in the first recognition of the rights of nature in Canada for the Magpie/Mutehekau Shipu River.

“The steps were well understood by the New Democratic Party of Canada, and more particularly by MP Alexandre Boulerice, who committed to introduce a bill in the House of Commons of Canada to recognize the legal personality of the St. Lawrence River at the federal level,” said Ms. Vega Cárdenas. “This avant-garde party becomes a new ally of the Observatory to help us realize the ideas of a true protection of this living environment.”

Boulerice and the NDP invite all parties that care about the future of our environment to support this bill once it is introduced on Monday.