It's easy to see there are now two levels of citizenship in this country. The top level is for corporations and those who run them. The lower level is for human citizens. This is especially evident in the area of environmental regulations.
Officials desperately need to explore new avenues both to pay for efforts to make us more resilient and to dramatically reduce dangerous carbon pollution so we don't make it worse. However, the looming question is: Will taxpayers be left with the bill?
Three crises are being revealed to us at once – the pandemic and its resulting economic disruption; inequity, created and sustained by economic and policy structures; and climate change, with its ongoing deadly progression of floods, fires, storms, and droughts.
While PPE is absolutely critical to tackling the pandemic, we must address the increased strain that they place on our already overburdened waste management systems if we want to avoid aggravating another crisis: ocean plastic pollution.
If we seek real action against systemic racism in Canada, we can no longer ignore the interplay of racial and environmental justice and the role of policing communities of colour in order to enable irresponsible polluting corporations.
A carbon price could have regressive effects on low-income residents, who pay a higher share of their income on energy and do not have the resources to avoid these costs by investing in energy efficiency or solar power.
Combatting climate change as a healthcare organisation involves more than simply reducing its carbon footprint. It means seeing climate change and wellbeing as intertwined - and that what's good for the environment is always good for health.
As our nation rises up to challenge the racism embedded within our society, I ask all of us to remember the environmental injustices that have been put onto the shoulders of Black and Brown communities.
EPA enforcement has been largely on stand-down during the pandemic but high amounts of mercury recently detected in Maryland rockfish suggest it will take more than a return to business-as-usual to address worrisome levels of environmental pollution.