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Friends of the Earth Canada in Court challenging federal government failure to act on climate law

Wednesday, October 14th 2009 2:01:45pm

Friends of the Earth Canada in Court challenging federal government failure to act on climate law

Will argue governments cannot pick and choose which laws to follow


Environmental groups are challenging Canada's federal government in court for its violation of the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act (KPIA).

The case targets the fundamental question of whether the government is above the law. The law states that Canada must take strong actions to address climate change, but the government has explicitly failed to do so.

Friends of the Earth Canada represented by Ecojustice and Paliare Roland Barristers are arguing before the Federal Court of Appeal that Canada's Minister of Environment and the Governor in Council are in violation of the Canadian law that requires Canada to take strong action to meet binding international commitments to fight climate change.  

The lawsuit asks the court for a declaration that the Minister of the Environment and the Governor in Council are breaking the law by failing to meet the legal requirements of the KPIA including enactment of legally binding regulations to combat climate change. The Court previously ruled (October, 2008) that the legislation itself is not justiciable - meaning it is not an issue the Courts can resolve. The Court of Appeal is being asked to set aside this previous ruling.

When and Where:

The Appeal will be heard at the Federal Court of Appeal at 9:30 a.m. Thursday October 15, 2009 located at 180 Queen Street West, Toronto.

Beatrice Olivastri (Friends of the Earth Canada) and legal counsel Chris Paliare and Hugh Wilkins will be available for comment in front of the court (SE corner) at 9:00 am.


For additional information visit www.ecojustice.ca and www.foecanada.org or contact:

Beatrice Olivastri, Friends of the Earth Canada (613) 724-8690 (cell)
Chris G. Paliare, Paliare Roland Barristers (416) 646.4318
Hugh Wilkins, Ecojustice (416) 368.7533 ext. 34
Albert Koehl, Ecojustice (416) 368.7533 ext. 29(French and Spanish language inquiries)