By Izzy Czerveniak
5/2/2019

Hooray for Earth Day!

In the weeks leading up to and beyond Earth Day, Blue Dot teams in communities throughout the country were hosting fun and creative events to help raise awareness of the growing need for environmental rights in Canada.

Here in B.C., teams have hosted six events, from film screenings to parades.

The South of the Fraser team got creative with Blue Dot signage and chatted with folks at Surrey’s Party for the Planet on April 13. No amount of soggy weather could dampen these high spirits!

 

On April 18, Blue Dot Victoria screened The Radicals. The film was followed by a discussion with Darryll Dawson Jr. (member of the Musgamakw Dzawada’nuxw of the Kingcome Inlet community, featured in the film), Vanessa Barr (Beyond Boarding) and Blue Dot’s Cameron Esler. Many people attended, and held an emotional discussion after that connected the issues examined in the film to environmental rights. All proceeds from the screening went to the affected communities featured in the film.

 

On April 20, the Vancouver Blue Dot team took part in the annual Earth Day parade organized by Youth for Climate Justice Now. It was a beautiful day and a strong Blue Dot contingent represented in blue. MPs Jenny Kwan and Don Davies visited the Blue Dot booth to show their support, and Blue Dot youth volunteer Sam anchored the day with a great speech on the main stage.

 

Blue Dot hosted an info booth at Abbotsford Earth Day festivities at Mill Lake Park on April 27. The event started with wild weather (hail, thunder, plummeting temperature, heavy rain, people running for cover — you name it), which delayed setup and attendance. Blue Dot and the importance of a healthy environment struck a chord with those who braved the weather. Most people weren’t aware of the issue, but when they learned about Blue Dot, they were supportive but chagrined that Canada doesn’t have this right enshrined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The event was well organized, and the Blue Dot presence will filter through the community for a while. As awareness grows about environmental rights, I believe we’ll see a lot of traction in local communities.

 

North Shore Blue Dot teamed up with North Shore Climate Hub, Project Drawdown and the Habitat Protection Project at the Earth Day celebration at Loutet Farm on Saturday, April 27. The wind was formidable, but so was the resolve of the community to show its care and concern for the natural world. The event featured kids’ games, gardening tips and more.

 

On April 30, youth volunteers in Summerland set up booths at their school. The Blue Dot station included a poster on which people could share why environmental rights matter to them and one with some environmental rights facts. The group members and attendees had some great conversations.

Thank you to all who participated so wholeheartedly in the growing environmental rights movement in Canada!

 

Pledge Campaign Update

We are six months away from the next federal election, and Blue Dot teams have been working hard to encourage their members of Parliament to sign the Pledge for Environmental Rights.The goal is to get environmental rights into the election platforms of all federal parties. We’re on a roll, with more than 80 MPs from all major parties showing public support. We’re going to keep pushing for all MPs and candidates to recognize the right to a healthy environment, and for parties to include this in their election platforms.


   

 

I’d like to acknowledge the Blue Dot volunteers, new and long-term, who have been so generously dedicating their time and energy to the MP Pledge. Not only did they have the courage to put up their hands to take this on, they also attended webinars, researched their members of Parliament and developed strategies for how to approach them. What inspires me most are the hundreds of people who are passionate enough to step out of their comfort zones to take actions to move the needle forward on securing environmental rights for all people in Canada. It’s a lot of energy for results that we may not see for some time, but having conversations and building relationships one by one will make lasting change.

“We must believe like the seed that change is possible. The seed will never see the flower. It grows knowing that it must become more than what it was. It changes because in growth all of its potential can be unlocked. Change is like rain, it starts with a single drop.” –Shane Koyczan

 

Thank you to Blue Dot volunteers of all types. From team leads to new supporters, there is something for everyone when you choose to get involved. If you would like to do more in your community but aren’t sure how, please feel free to contact me directly at izzy@davidsuzuki.org.