Four communities across Canada have now declared the right to a healthy environment. Will yours be next?
alive’s senior editor, Ellen Niemer, is a member of the Richmond Blue Dot Movement.
In September, I wrote about the David Suzuki Foundation’s Blue Dot Movement. All summer and fall, the volunteer members of the Richmond Blue Dot Movement have worked hard attending events and collecting signatures from the citizens of Richmond, BC.
Swell of support
From the conversations we held with people in Richmond, it was clear that many people didn’t realize Canadians don’t have the right to a healthy environment—but they agreed it’s a right we should have. (And … spoiler alert … Richmond City Council thought so, too!)
On October 14, Blue Dot volunteers and supporters attended the City Council meeting with our banners of signed petition cards and high hopes. We weren’t disappointed. Mayor Brodie and the city councillors made eloquent speeches about what the City of Richmond has done, and is doing, to protect the environment.
We learned that applause isn’t allowed at City Council meetings, but it was hard to contain our enthusiasm as Richmond City Council became the first city in Canada to make a declaration that its citizens have the right to a healthy environment!
Thanks to Mayor Brodie and the Richmond City Councillors, they passed a declaration that partially states
“All people have the right to a healthy environment, including:
- The right to breathe clean air
- The right to drink clean water
- The right to consume safe food
- The right to access nature
- The right to know about pollutants and contaminants released into the local environment
- The right to participate in decision-making that will affect the environment”
We’ve only just begun!
Along with Richmond, three other communities have declared the right to a healthy environment. Congratulations go to the City of Richmond, as well as
- Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, a borough of Montreal
- The Pas, Manitoba
- Vancouver, BC
Join the Blue Dot Movement
Blue Dot’s success story is just beginning—and you can be a part of it in your community, too, no matter where you live in Canada. It’s as easy as signing the Blue Dot online petition; telling your friends, family, neighbours, and coworkers about Blue Dot; and getting involved as a volunteer in your community.
What’s really inspired me is meeting like-minded people who want to ensure that what we’re putting into our bodies is safe, who love nature, and who care about preserving the beauty of Canada for our children and grandchildren. Won’t you join us?