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September 20, 2022News Release

The CDPDJ announces the finalists for the 2022 Prix Droits et Libertés dedicated to the right to a healthy environment

Montréal, September 20, 2022 – The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse announced today the finalists of the 2022 Prix Droits et Libertés. This year, the award aims at promoting the right to live in a healthy environment that respects biodiversity, as enshrined in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. The members of the jury selected the following three finalist initiatives:

  • Recognition of the rights of Muteshekau-shipu, the Magpie River: an initiative that aims to have the Magpie River recognised as a legal entity to better preserve it and protect it from any industrial development project - a first in Quebec and Canada. Located on the Côte-Nord, the Magpie River is known worldwide for whitewater activities. This initiative was led by the Muteshekau-shipu Alliance and is based on the leadership and legal powers of local indigenous and non-indigenous communities. It resulted in the adoption of two parallel resolutions that grant the river nine legal rights, including the right to flow naturally, to maintain its biodiversity and to take legal action.
  • Canopée et biodiversité Saguenay: led by EURÊKO, this initiative takes concrete action to create healthy environments and to increase people’s resilience to the impacts of climate change. It consists in creating islands of freshness through greening and demineralisation, increasing the urban canopy and conserving and even densifying green spaces. Thus, several trees are planted, food forests and vegetable gardens are created as well as rain gardens. These actions are implemented in a participatory manner and are carried out primarily in disadvantaged communities that are vulnerable to extreme heat.
  • Mères au front: A citizens' movement of mothers and grandmothers who are concerned about the world we are leaving to future generations. Together, they are reframing the climate and environmental emergency around the most precious thing they have to protect: Their commitment and actions aim to ensure that all governments (municipal, provincial and federal) take responsibility and act on the environmental emergency. The movement has nearly 30 local groups in Quebec, as well as in French-speaking Canada and Belgium, and has nearly 10,000 supporters.

"The evaluation and selection of the finalists was a very difficult exercise for the jury members, given the quality of the applications received. We are fortunate to have initiatives of a very diverse nature from the four corners of Quebec, from the North Shore to Montreal. We are very proud to discover these initiatives that aim to protect our planet and our right to live in a healthy environment, which is a critical issue nowadays," said Philippe-André Tessier, President of the Commission and President of the jury.

The five members of the jury have also chosen to give a special mention to La ligne verte, an initiative set up by the Centre québécois du droit de l'environnement. This is a legal information line that offers free specialised and accessible information on environmental law. It provides information to the general public, as well as to environmental protection groups, elected officials and journalists. It enables people to be better equipped to take concrete action to uphold their right to live in a healthy environment that respects biodiversity.

Launched under the theme "Our Planet, Our Rights", the 2022 edition of the Prix Droits et Libertés seeks to highlight initiatives that advance environmental justice and the fight against climate change in Quebec. The winning initiative will be announced at the award ceremony to be held on December 7 in Montreal.

About the Prix Droits et Libertés

The Commission has been awarding the Prix Droits et Libertés since 1988, on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, which marks the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. The Award recognizes the outstanding work of individuals and organizations whose achievements contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights and the rights of youth in Quebec. For more information, visit:

The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Human Rights and Youth Commission) ensures the promotion and respect of the principles set out in the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. It also ensures that the interests of children are protected and that their rights recognized in the Youth Protection Act are respected and promoted. In addition, the Commission oversees compliance with the Act respecting Equal Access to Employment in Public Bodies.

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Dalia Alachi
514 475 4571

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