By: Sana Ahmed
This September, members of the Brampton Blue Dot Movement will present to Council asking the city to pass a declaration that supports environmental rights in Canada.
The local movement is part of the national Blue Dot Movement, organized by the David Suzuki Foundation in partnership with Ecojustice, with the purpose of including the right to a healthy environment in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Citizens all over the nation have been working together in their local communities to spread awareness about environmental rights in Canada, and to win the support of their municipalities.
Since June 2015, volunteers in Brampton have been raising awareness through canvassing, and speaking with organizations about why Brampton should support environmental rights.
Currently, half of all Canadians live in areas with unsafe levels of air pollution. As a result, every year, over 20,000 Canadians die prematurely because of exposure to environmental hazards. Brampton Blue Dot is looking to ensure that all citizens are safe from environmental pollution.
After a year of preparation, Brampton Blue Dot group is going to Council to request the municipality’s support for this movement.
“Brampton has committed itself to environmental action in the city through its Environmental Action Plan. Council has the opportunity to show leadership and lend its voice by supporting an Environmental Bill of Rights that would protect the fundamental rights of all Canadians to a clean and safe environment,” says James Linn, a Brampton Blue Dot volunteer.
At the local level, it makes sense for Brampton to jump on board. The city’s values and goals outlined in the Grow Green Environmental Master Plan includes initiatives to improve environmental sustainability in specific areas such as: People, Air, Water, Land, Energy and Waste. These directly coincide with Blue Dot’s three pillars of environmental rights, which are clean water, fresh air and healthy food for all Canadians.
If Brampton councillors vote to support the Movement, the city will be joining over 140 municipalities that have passed declarations, including Toronto and Mississauga, and taking a stand with over 100,000 Canadians who have signed the petition to make Canada a more environmentally sustainable nation for all Canadians.