What is Environmental Health Equity?

Environmental health inequity can be understood to encompass histories, policies, and practices rooted in colonialism, racism, and other forms of discrimination that result in the concentration of multiple environmental risks, as well as inadequate access to environmental benefits for some Canadian communities on the basis of their collective social identity and/or position.

As a result of insufficient and often unfair policies across multiple sectors (such as environmental management, urban planning and public health) many communities bear far greater environmental health burdens (such as poor air quality) and at the same time lack access to environmental benefits (such as health-supporting housing and public spaces).

In the face of such circumstances, many communities have been forced to be self-reliant and to mobilize resistance with few supports. Research is one way to support communities to fight back against inequities, in order to realize a just and healthy environment for all.