By Peter Wood

Let’s Celebrate What We Accomplished Together in 2018!

Dear Blue Dot supporters, 

As we approach the end of 2018, Blue Dot has a lot to be proud of. I wanted to reflect on a few campaign highlights, and I invited other members of the team to do the same. 

Over the past year, we’ve consolidated gains made during our campaign to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) and directed this momentum toward achieving a federal environmental bill of rights. Early in the year, the NDP and Liberal Party of Canada both adopted resolutions supporting such a bill. Together we generated more than 20,000 letters to federal decision-makers in support of environmental rights, and one of the largest e-petitions on the environment ever submitted to the House of Commons.

On October 20, 2018, a year before the next federal election, volunteers organized events throughout the country to celebrate the launch of the MP Pledge for Environmental Rights. As a result, we have enlisted an amazing 283 volunteer Pledge Leaders across Canada who are leading efforts in their local ridings. Since then, they have held strategy meetings, participated in trainings and secured face-to-face meetings with their MPs. We now have 30 MPs on board, from across the political spectrum, with more signing on each day! The excitement and momentumbuilding across the country is truly inspiring, and I look forward to celebrating the many successes that lie ahead. 

Meanwhile, the number of municipalities that have recognized environmental rights continues to grow. There are now more than 170, representing about half of Canada’s population! 

While 2018 had its share of environmental setbacks, we’ve never been so close to establishing environmental rights in Canadathanks to your hard work.  

Happy holidays, 

Peter Wood 

National Campaign Manager, Environmental Rights 

Highlights from the Blue Dot Team

Cameron Esler, Blue Dot Ambassadors Organizer 

Working with volunteers from coast to coast over the past year has resulted in many different highlights, including: 

  • Regina Blue Dot getting their city to pass a renewable energy strategy. 
  • Blue Dot volunteers getting MPs from all parties to ensure that the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development recommend including environmental rights in an amended Canadian Environmental Protection Act. 
  • Holding events in communities like Edmonton, St. John’s, and many others. 

Elizabeth Sarjeant, Ontario Organizer 

Since joining Blue Dot as the Ontario organizer in April, I’ve had the incredible privilege of working with people all over the province who are changing the way we think and act on environmental issues. Blue Dot volunteers bring a range of skills and strengths to the table: experience, knowledge, conviction, creativity, reflection and enthusiasm. At every step, I learn from the wisdom of organizers who’ve been with this movement since the start. I’m constantly amazed to see so many people from across the province (and country!) come together at community events, town halls, farmers markets, meetings rooms, conference calls and webinars, in agreement that a healthy environment is a basic human right.  

Highlights from the past few months in Ontario include: 

  • A team art project in Brampton’s Chinguacousy Park. 
  • A water festival in Hamilton. 
  • Establishing a new team in Toronto (and a rally in downtown!). 
  • A cleanup at Waterloo Region’s Laurel Creek. 
  • Film screenings in Richmond Hill. 
  • An outdoor pizza night in Northumberland County. 

When speaking with people face-to-face at these events, it’s increasingly clear to me that we all care about protecting our shared planet, and that we want to see concrete changes in the way governments make decisions about the environment. 

Emilia Belliveau, Coordinator 

One highlight from working with the Blue Dot team in 2018 was organizing the Symposium on Environmental Rights, held at the University of Ottawa on February 15th. We partnered with Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Ottawa, University of Ottawa Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability, and University of Ottawa Human Rights Education and Research Centre for a day of sharing stories and research about the impact of enshrining environmental rights in law. By bringing together leading academics, advocates and policy-makers, our dialogue furthered the conversation on environmental rights in Canada. 

Izzy Czerveniak, BC Organizer   

The past year in Metro Vancouver was fantastic for Blue Dot teams, as they helped to spread environmental rights awareness in fun and unique ways, at a variety of events throughout the city. Highlights include: 

  • An evening of magic and adventure at the Night Quest festival, where families of all ages got to interact with critters of all shapes and sizes. 
  • Joining with outdoor clothing company Patagonia to celebrate Earth Day. 
  • Piloting Blue Dot messaging with youth through school programming. 
  • Having local MP Joyce Murray celebrate Blue Dot’s National Day of Action with her constituents to celebrate her signing the Blue Dot Pledge for Environmental Rights. 
  • The birth of a brand new Blue Dot team in the South Surrey – White Rock area.