By Peter Wood
1/16/2017

When we launched the Blue Dot Tour in 2014, we never dreamed this movement would receive such widespread support. More than 105,000 people, 25,000 volunteers and 150 communities have signed on to the Blue Dot movement. We can’t stop now. It’s time to let members of Parliament know about this support, as they can make a federal bill reality. We need to keep organizing, knocking on doors, sharing the Blue Dot pledge, meeting with MPs and using innovative digital tools to make our voices heard. We have to demonstrate widespread support to achieve a federal environmental bill of rights. “What do you get the country that has it all for its 150th birthday? A bill of rights that will ensure protection of its natural assets for generations to come is a great start,” said David Suzuki (Canadian Geographic and The Walrus special issue). This year we will continue to build momentum — online and in key ridings across the country — with the goal of having a federal environmental bill of rights introduced by the end of 2017.

Here are a few things we have planned for 2017:

  • Ground-level organizing in key federal ridings across the country, including canvassing and public events
  • A national network of Blue Dot Ambassadors who will keep this issue in front of their MPs
  • A report card on the status of drinking water advisories in First Nations’ communities (February)
  • A revamped BlueDot.ca website, featuring innovative new tools to engage with your MP
  • A National Day of Action on World Environment Day (June 5)
  • Working with MPs to introduce a gold-standard federal environmental bill of rights

We look forward to working with you during this crucial next step in the campaign, whether it be in your community or online. Together we can make history! – Peter,  Blue Dot campaign manager


Meet Your Blue Dot Team

It is my pleasure to introduce you to the team that will be working with you to ensure everyone in Canada has the right to clean air and water, safe food and a say in the decisions that affect our health and well-being.

Peter Wood, Campaign Manager

Peter Wood bio pic I joined the Blue Dot team in July 2016. For over 18 years, I’ve worked on a variety of issues at the nexus of environmental and human rights, both within Canada and internationally. I was inspired to join the Blue Dot movement because it presents an opportunity to change the “rules of the game” and improve environmental outcomes across the board. After spending many years reacting to various proposals for mines, clearcuts, pipelines and dams, it has become apparent that we need to rise above this to think proactively, and have our environmental values reflected in the rights that all people across Canada enjoy. I’m excited to be working with a great team and such a dedicated network of volunteers.

Alaya Boisvert, Government Relations Manager

Alaya Boisvert, Government Relations Manager I joined the David Suzuki Foundation in 2014 and campaign for the right to a healthy environment because our survival and prosperity rely on healthy ecosystems. I am deeply inspired by the commitment of people from across Canada who are standing together for environmental rights. I am excited to collaborate with volunteers, partners and decision-makers to realize the shared goal of a federal environmental bill of rights. I have worked on partnership building, Indigenous rights and policy development both domestically and abroad. When not advocating for environmental law, I can often be found bounding along beaches and forest trails with my spirited daughter.

Lisa Gue, Senior Researcher and Analyst

Lisa Gue, Senior Researcher and Analyst I joined the David Suzuki Foundation in 2007 and am just back to work after a maternity leave. Over the past decade, I have worked on a range of issues that profile connections between human health and the environment, including pesticides, air quality, toxics in consumer products and environmental rights. With two small children, I am more passionate than ever about ensuring the right to a healthy environment. I’m a lifelong environmentalist and David Suzuki fan, so I feel very fortunate to be working with DSF. I love my job! I am based in Ottawa and have a background in public policy.

Cameron Esler, Trainer

Cameron Esler, TrainerCameron in Blue (2) I am a father, educator, policy analyst, filmmaker, aspiring Olympic gold medalist in cross-country skiing and human canvas (see picture). I am tickled blue from head to toe about achieving the right to a healthy environment because I believe environmental rights are human rights. To achieve a just world we need to ensure that all communities have clean water and a stable climate. It is an honour to work with amazing people from coast to coast to coast, and I am confident that together we can seize this opportunity to achieve a better future for all.  

Cam Cheema, Quebec Organizer and Trainer

Cameron Cheema, Quebec Organizer I began my career in New York City in the late ’90s and have almost two decades of experience working in U.S. and Canadian social justice sectors, developing education and harm-reduction programs for underserviced youth, the homeless and other vulnerable communities. I relocated to Montreal five years ago and joined the Blue Dot team in 2014. As someone who cares deeply about education, community and human rights, I am thrilled to be a part of this movement. We’ve already made history, and I can’t wait to see what else we can achieve together.

Corrigan Hammond, Ontario Organizer

Corrigan Hammond, Ontario Organizer I am thrilled to be celebrating my first year as part of this incredible team. Blue Dot had an amazing 2016 in Ontario: More than 400 people volunteered as part of our 120-day campaign to strengthen Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights. We met with 22 members of the provincial Parliament and mobilized nearly 20,000 people to call on government to strengthen this legislation. If you’ve ever taken part in our Ontario Leaders Network conference calls, you’ve probably heard an inspirational message or two from my four-year-old son, Winston. Like many of you, I became involved in our movement because I firmly believe that my son’s generation deserves a healthy planet and a boundless future.

Isabelle Czerveniak, Western Organizer

Izzy, Western Organizer Born and raised here on the Canadian west coast and fortunate enough to have experienced extensive world travel, I am certain I live in the most beautiful place on Earth. You can find me skinning up the mountains in the winter, enjoying festivals in the summer and biking around the city on the in-between days. Connecting with our natural environment is crucial for us all to be able to live active, healthy and mindful lives. My passion lies in engaging community in fun and innovative ways and I am extremely motivated to be a part of driving our communities towards an environmental bill of rights. As Canadians, we have proven that we can rise to the occasion when it really matters and I’m excited to see what is possible when we unite and stand for our right to a clean environment.

Alan Worsley, Communications Specialist

Alan Worsley, Communications Specialist I joined Blue Dot in February 2017 to help campaign for the right to a healthy environment. I have a background in both scientific research and the news – so I love sharing those little ‘Eureka!’ moments when you suddenly understand how some part of the world works — which is why I’m Blue Dot’s communications specialist! I’m proud to be a part of this movement because I believe we owe it to future generations to ensure there is clean air to breathe, fresh water to drink and a stable climate to inhabit. And what better way to do that than to establish a federal environmental bill of rights? It’s incredibly exciting to be working with people across the country to help make that happen.

Pauline-Marie Paramo, Digital Communications Coordinator

Pauline-Marie Paramo, Digital Communications Coordinator I am a French digital native who is passionate about environmental protection, social media and the arts. I am strongly convinced that digital engagement can lead to real world actions to protect our planet, which is why I’m Blue Dot’s digital communications guru! When I’m old and grey, I want to be able to look back and be proud of the work we have done to protect the people and places we love.

20 responses to “Making federal environmental rights a reality”

  1. We are having a school pow wow on May 26 which will include parents and various school leaders. I will bring this initiative to the FNMI Student Cultural Planning Group to establish aboriginal youth to take a lead in preparing for awareness on June 5. Miigwech, Hazel

  2. Linda ablack says:

    Im in!!!! 🙂

    Linda

  3. This sounds like the perfect gift for Canada’s 150th birthday!

  4. Welcome! Nice to have faces and names attached to the blue dot movement! I’ve been an advocate ever since it’s inception. Just wanted to reach out and if there’s a BLUE DOT banner I can share on my social media (i.e. Website) I’d be proud to do so. My endeavours will hopefully make me more able to donate monetarily in the coming years; until that time -you have my approval/support of petition signing and social media presence.

    Sincerely,
    David

  5. Eva Miller says:

    I want to become involved. Please let me know how I can help.

    • Pauline Paramo says:

      Hello Eva,
      The first step in standing up for environmental rights is signing the Blue Dot pledge.
      You can build local power and momentum by collecting pledges. That’s because the bigger our
      community, the greater our impact will be!
      – Pauline, Blue Dot digital communications coordinator

  6. Hello

    Thank you for the invitation to your bluedot organization but i am not of academia educationally only College : Business Management Studies, and am currently a Red Seal Endorsed Journeyman Welder, and CWB Certified Welding Supervisor CSA W47.1, CSA W59.
    I do not possess any Environmental background as I am a certified Journeyman/Tradesman, and not sure what I could bring to your group to assist, or advance your stances on the environment, due to “Global Climate Change” ?
    I believe we all need to incorporate a different government to assist in environmental changes, as we have dealt with either the Progressive Conservative, and Liberal parties with little to no resolve. Has your organization ever sat down with the Green Party, or NDP to discuss your environmental concerns ?
    If we look at the latest Cap-and-Trade scheme introduced by Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne, it does not represent Ontario, but environmental credits, and money will likely end up going to Quebec, or California ?

    Sincerely,

    Craig Vogan, RSE

  7. Bill McMahon says:

    Thanks for the notice. I’ll make contact with the Salt Spring Blue Dot organizers and look forward to participating.

    Bill

  8. Helen Robertson says:

    I am a lifelong environmentalist and fan of David Suzuki live in Ottawa I have limited energy to devote to Blue Dot with work illness family issues but I would like to contact the local organizer if possible thanks
    Helen

  9. carla skirten says:

    Thank you for the update on achievable goals for 2017! I look forward to following the progress. As a civilized society we must attend to the suffering of our planet.
    Best,
    Carla

  10. Monica Davis says:

    Pleased and proud to see such an engaged and inspired team working toward the continuous rally to protect our environmental rights. It takes grit and creativity to keep a campaign like this going over such a long period of time with a mission well worth the work.
    Having been a part of the organizing team for the Blue Dot Tour I look forward to supporting the team in any way possible. This is a tangible reality and an idea well worth actioning. I will continue to do what I can to amplify and assist the campaign moving forward. You’re doing great!

  11. Susan Eberhard says:

    What a wonderful team. Although, from your team, I have only met David and Corrigan, I know the work you do is very important. I hope you would organize, in advance, other groups like Leadnow, Change.Org, SumofUs, Avaaz and Council of Canadians about the June 5 rally. These groups have vast networks to help you reach many more people. I think we really need to work together to gather 100s of thousands rather than 10s of thousands. I applaud your efforts, and support you in the small ways I am able!

    Keep up the great work

  12. Lea Bannon says:

    Looking forward to actively participating with the Whitby Ont Blue dot group.

  13. Karen Nystrom says:

    I absolutely love the idea of Environmental Rights as a 150th birthday present, and the team – well I’m inspired! I celebrated in Montreal in 1967 and I’m looking forward to celebrating again. Thank you Dr Suzuki and everyone involved with the Blue Dot campaign.

  14. Pip strachan says:

    Is there something we can do on a volunteer basis? I’m in northeastern Ontario, Bancroft. Would love to help…
    Pip

  15. Elisa Zeledon says:

    I want to help make environmental rights a reality in Canada and abroad. Clean water is my passion; I dedicated 6 years of my life to environmental studies in Canada and oversee, it would be such a privilege to participate in making clean water a reality not only for humans but for the rest of the planet population. Please let me know how I can volunteer in the GTA area. This is awesome.

  16. Sandra Poirier says:

    Dear Dr. Suzuki, team members,all the concerned volunteers, people who are working to insure a cleaner, healthy, safe environment for the future generations.
    There is no other gift as important as the gift of a better world to pass on to our grandchildren and elders.
    Thank you for including my comments, I feel a great sense of achievement, having a voice to improve our environment.
    Sandra Poirier

  17. Sandra Poirier says:

    Dear Dr. Suzuki,
    Team members,all the concerned volunteers, people who are working to insure a cleaner, healthy, safe environment for the future generations.
    There is no other gift as important as the gift of a better world to pass on to our grandchildren and elders.
    Thank you for including my comments, I feel a great sense of achievement, having a voice to improve our environment.
    Sandra Poirier

  18. Sandra Poirier says:

    Blue Dot,
    That little blue dot spinning around in the universe,let’s keep it clean and healthy for all it’s inhabitants to enjoy!
    Sandra

  19. Barbara Raymond says:

    I AM Pleased for the dedication and energy of your organization thanks for your work for our Mother Earth

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