Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.


The Council of Canadians - water protection petition

Campaigns | The Council of Canadians

Did you know there are 2.5 million lakes and rivers across Canada? Not long ago, every one of them was protected by federal legislation. Today, only 159 are protected.

You can change this.

Sign the national petition

You may remember Bill C-45, the omnibus budget bill the Harper Conservatives rammed through Parliament in 2012 without any public consultations.

Quietly tucked into that bill were sweeping changes to Canada’s Navigable Waters Protection Act, which stripped 99% of our lakes and rivers of federal environmental protections.

Why would the Conservatives do such a thing? The day their new law came into effect it cancelled environmental reviews for 3,000 energy projects – including tar sands pipelines, fracking and mining – greasing the wheels to fast-track federal approval.

Against the will of the public, the Harper Conservatives have put a higher value on dirty fossil fuels than the safety of our water.

As a direct result, they have put the health of millions of Canadians and Indigenous people at risk and left 99% of our lakes and rivers exposed to devastating contamination.

This Canada Day, let's come together  to restore these protections.
#Pledge2Protect our lakes and rivers 99 per cent of Canada’s lakes and rivers no longer have federal protection.  These environmental and cultural treasures must be kept clean and safe from industry, such as the tar sands, fracking and mining. I call upon  you and your MPs to pledge to protect our lakes and rivers if elected in 2015. Our natural heritage, and that of our children, depends on it.


A strong democracy needs strong science | Evidence For Democracy

A strong democracy needs strong science | Evidence For Democracy

"I believe that all Canadians benefit when governments solicit,  collect and use the evidence and expertise needed to make smart policy  decisions that safeguard the health, safety and prosperity of Canadians. I will support/vote for actions that invest in public-interest science; ensure open, honest and timely communication of scientific information; and make public the evidence considered in government decisions."

 Canada's commitment to making decisions based on evidence, not politics, helped to build our prosperity and make our country one of the safest, healthiest, best educated and most compassionate countries in the world. Making evidence-based decisions requires investing in the science and research upon which they are founded but in recent years, our federal government has turned away from science, putting at risk the foundation of what makes Canada great.

We have seen drastic funding cuts to both federal government and academic research and the scrapping of many important evidence gathering institutions, most notably the long-form census. Government scientists are working under increasingly restrictive rules limiting their ability to openly communicate their research. Perhaps what is most alarming is that many recent public policy decisions disregard all available evidence.

We have an unprecedented opportunity to highlight science and smart-decision making in the upcoming federal election. For the first time in Canadian history there is momentum to get political parties and candidates to commit to science and evidence-based decision-making!

This is your opportunity to restore the science needed for a strong democracy by taking our pledge.


Raif Badawi| Amnesty International Canada

Take action for human rights | Amnesty International Canada
UPDATE: JUNE 7, 2015: Saudi Supreme Court upholds cruel and unjust sentence. Raif remains at risk of flogging as long as this sentence remains in  place.
Authorities arrested Raif Badawi  on 17 June 2012. They charged him with insulting Islam and creating the “Saudi Arabian Liberals” website for social and political debate. Th charges related to articles Raif wrote criticizing religious figures.

Raif Badawi’s case bounced back and forth between courts until 7 May 2014.On that day, the Criminal Court pronounced a sentence of 10 years in prison, 1000 lashes and a fine of 1 million riyals After he serves a decade in jail, he is also forbidden to travel for the following decade and from participating in the media.

While international pressure appears to have brought a halt to the flogging after the first 50 of 1,000 lashes, Raif Badawi remains behind bars facing an uncertain future. By the end of April 2015 his case had been transferred from the Criminal Court back to the Supreme Court.

Since March 2011 the authorities have  continued a relentless campaign of repression in the name of security.  The authorities have cracked down on peaceful activists calling for reforms and on demonstrators protesting against human rights violations. Those who express dissent face arrest and imprisonment whether they are critics, bloggers, activists or academics. Raif Badawi is just one of many.


Ontario first in North America to curb bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides | Toronto Star

Ontario first in North America to curb bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides | Toronto Star

Ontario is moving to take the sting out of pesticides that are killing bees. On July 1, the province will become the first jurisdiction in North America to begin reducing the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid-coated corn and soybean seeds. Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal said by 2017, the new rules should curb the acreage planted with such seeds by 80 per cent.
“Farmers are environmental stewards of their land and this regulation will enable our province’s farmers to strengthen their approach to protecting their crops,” Leal said in a statement Tuesday.
The pesticide hinders the ability of bees — and 400 other pollinator species like birds and butterflies — to navigate, feed, or reproduce. It’s also blamed for making them more susceptible to illness.
In the winter of 2013-14, Ontario beekeepers lost a staggering 58 per cent of the province’s honey bees — well above the 15 per cent depletion considered sustainable.
As of July, new rules will be in place to track the sale and use of neonicotinoid-treated seeds. For next year’s planting season, farmers will be allowed to use the seeds on up to 50 per cent of their corn and soybean fields with exceptions being granted only to those who can provide evidence of pest problems.
In 2017, all farmers wanting to use any neonicotinoid- treated seeds will have to prove they have pests.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Glen Murray said the government must take “necessary action to protect these vitally important species and the ecosystems they support from the effects of neurotoxic neonicotinoids.”
Ontario Federation of Agriculture president Don McCabe said farmers “worked closely” with the province to ensure the rules work for everyone.
“The OFA supports the need for a complete pollinator policy (and) . . . will continue to work with the government toward the successful implementation of this regulation, keeping the concerns of farmers top of mind as part of a pollinator strategy,” said McCabe.
Tibor Szabo, president of the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, said “while the new regs may not be perfect, in the end, the Ontario government did the right thing.” “Our bees continue to die from the overuse of neonicotinoids,” said Szabo. “We hope Ontario farmers will now take it on themselves to go beyond 50 per cent reduction and only use neonicotinoids when there’s a real need to control pests.”
The phase-out will be a challenge — almost all the corn seed and 60 per cent of soybean seed sold in Ontario is currently treated with the insecticides.
CropLife Canada, a manufacturer of neonicotinoids, has maintained their product is “one of the safest
insecticides ever developed.” Last year, two major beekeeping firms launched a $450-million class-action lawsuit against two pesticide manufacturers, alleging their products have decimated bee colonies.