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Participating in Decision-Making

Opportunities for citizens to participate exist at the local, provincial, and national levels. Many provinces have set up local air quality advisory committees.

Concerned citizens can also apply to have input into air emission permitting and licencing decisions and can, in some circumstances, appeal such decisions.

Citizens can also take advantage of opportunities to comment individually about proposed regulations or laws. The nature and scope of these opporunities varies depending on the jurisdiction. At the federal level proposed government regulations are published in the Canada Gazette and the public has 60 days to comment.

Comments can also be forwarded directly to local elected representatives. Also, internet activism is rapidly becoming a powerful tool for social change. Users can voice their opinion through these action centres and a fax or email is sent to decision makers.

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Increasingly, citizens have been resorting to legal action to hold government and industry accountable to protect our air resources by exercising the right to appeal emission permitting decisions, seeking legal review of government decisions and commencing "private" prosecutions of environmental offenders.