Rising Tide witnesses, and stands against the racism, classism and environmental injustice that prevail throughout Canada, its colonial governments and its capitalist economy. Environmentally destructive corporations, and the impacts of their extraction, production, pollution and waste – disproportionately burden Indigenous communities and working class communities of colour across the land.
Race-based discrimination is inherent in Canada’s environmental laws and policies, which worsen these health and economic impacts amongst Indigenous and migrant communities, while destroying air, water and land resources which we all rely on for survival. For example:
• Polluting industries such as slaughterhouses, infectious disease hospitals, and fecal waste dumps were sited in Africville, Nova Scotia because white communities didn’t want them in theirs.
• The Aamjiwnaang First Nation, near Sarnia, Ontario, is surrounded by 63 refineries, and 40% of the community requires inhalers to breath.
• The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation have had their water and food laden with carcinogens and heavy metals from toxic waste from Tar Sands mining.
• The Grassy Narrows First Nation are still seeking justice and compensation from mercury dumping which has lead to poisoning, birth defects, and neurological disorders.
• South Asian and Latino farm and silviculture workers in BC continue to be impacted by cancer-causing pesticides, due to lack of protection for the health and safety of migrant workers.
• Fort Nelson First Nations are trying to stop gas fracking projects from overusing and polluting their freshwater supplies.
Racism in Canada’s legal and political system continues to be illustrated by institutional processes and policies such as the Far North Act, omnibus budget bills C-45 and C-38 that undermine Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination and community health, by legitimizing water pollution, and the lack of sufficient environmental health protection on reservations. Regressive immigration policies create barriers for migrants and asylum seekers to live with confidence that their rights to health and safety in both habitat and workplace are protected.
Meanwhile, Canada’s polluting industries and foreign policies impact the entire planet, by contributing to runaway climate change, economic recession, war, military occupation, neoliberal trade deals – forcing people around the world out of home and community, food and farm, livelihood and culture.
Rising Tide stands in solidarity with all frontline communities – both Indigenous and migrant, whose traditional cultures of sharing continue to resist the colonial cultures of hoarding, and whose stories of resilience help protect our planet for all future generations.
Help us fight for environmental justice