By Alan Worsley
12/12/2017

Thank you for an incredible 2017!

It’s been a great year for the Blue Dot movement, and it’s worth reflecting on all we have accomplished together.

We began the year by announcing we would pivot to making federal environmental rights a reality. By year’s end we were presented with a golden opportunity to have the right to a healthy environment included in existing law. It’s been a busy, successful and fantastic year for all of us on the Blue Dot team.

More than anything, we want to say thank you!

We could not have done any of this without the support of you and more than 110,000 people who have signed the petition in support of the right to a healthy environment.

Together we have:

  • Helped reach a total of 161 municipal declarations in support of environmental rights throughout the country — representing almost half of Canada’s population!
  • Generated more than 21,000 letters to members of Parliament asking them to enshrine the right to a healthy environment in federal law.
  • Created dozens of videos telling the environment minister why we need to amend Canada’s Environmental Protection Act.
  • Submitted more than 80 letters to local newspapers, such as this one.
  • Generated more than 600 tweets to government asking them to grant a holiday wish by recognizing the right to a healthy environment.

We are excited for the year ahead. And we’re hopeful that the right to a healthy environment will be included in federal law for the first time when government follows through on its commitment to strengthen the Canadian Environmental Protection Act next year.

It’s a steep climb, and our work to convince government that the right to a healthy environment should be included won’t be easy. But it’s important to take time to celebrate the progress we have made so far, and to reflect on why we must continue to protect the people and places we love.

 

Comings and goings

The Blue Dot team underwent some big changes this year. Cam Cheema (Montreal organizer), Valerie Robert (Ottawa organizer) and Alaya Boisvert (government relations) have all moved on to new opportunities. We are fortunate that Alaya will continue to work with the David Suzuki Foundation as the public engagement manager. We are very thankful for their contributions to the team and wish them all the best.

Earlier in the year, we were pleased to bring on board Alan Worsley (communications specialist) and Izzy Czerveniak (Vancouver organizer). Emilia Belliveau also recently joined us as coordinator. We’re excited about the expertise and capacity these new members bring to the team!

Our highlights of the year

I asked our team to share their highlight of the year:

“My highlight was in viewing the inspiring and creative social media content made by Blue Dot supporters. From Kelly Husack’s clear and cogent storytap video to Izzy Czerveniak’s hilarious holiday wish, these actions helped move environmental rights forward. You can still create your own meme and send it to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, @cathmckenna, on Twitter. “

Cameron Esler, Trainer

“My highlight of the year was watching the incredible growth of the Vancouver team, numbering 49 since February. This astounding growth is due to volunteers engaging the public through tabling, attending Blue Dot trainings, meeting with their MPs, sending video messages, attending or organizing Blue Dot community events and phoning MPs. A fantastic job by all!”

Izzy Czerveniak, Western organizer

“Working with hundreds of inspiring Blue Dot volunteers across Ontario was a delight all year. David Suzuki speaking to 700 local youth in Burlington about the right to a healthy environment was an especially inspiring moment!”

Corrigan Hammond, Ontario organizer

Photo: Caroline Dostie

“My biggest highlight was the Union des Municipalités du Québec (Union of Quebec municipalities) joint declaration on May 4 for the right to a healthy environment. This resolution paves the way for many more Quebec municipalities to protect the people and places we love.”

Pauline-Marie Paramo, digital communications coordinator

Read more about our Blue Dot team!

 

Thanks again for everything you are doing to support the right to a healthy environment. It’s paying off. Happy holidays, and see you in 2018!

 

Photo: Caroline Dostie.