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BG, Blue Dot, Dr. Suzuki at Queen's Park, Oct. 18

Category: News
on 24 October 2016

qp w suzuki 10182016BurlingtonGreen had the honour of being at Queen's Park on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016, with Dr. David Suzuki and several local environmental groups involved in the Blue Dot movement.

The purpose of the event was to draw attention to the need to include Blue Dot rights (clean air and water, safe food, stable climate) in Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). Several municipalities in Ontario have now made Blue Dot declarations, and we hope to see these rights and environmental protections enshrined at the provincial level.

The EBR is under review and was open for public comment for 120 days, until Nov. 8, 2016. Under the current EBR, Ontarians have the right to know about pollutants being released, but don't have substantive rights to be protected from them. Learn why strengthening Ontario's EBR should matter to all Canadians here.

Thank you to everyone who has expressed their support to date, online or on comment cards. Several of your comment cards were relayed to David Suzuki at Queen's Park (photo) and will be presented to the Government at a later date. A press conference was held later in the day inside Queen's Park.

We thank Minister Glen Murray and the MOECC for opening up the EBR for review and considering strengthening Ontarians' environmental rights.

Here is a speech BG Executive Director, Amy Schnurr, gave on the Queen's Park front lawn.

qp amy speech 10182016BurlingtonGreen is a citizen-led, non-partisan, not–for-profit environmental organization. In Burlington we are incredibly fortunate to have an abundance of natural riches within and surrounding our community. We hug the shores of Lake Ontario, have a Provincial Park, are home to the largest botanical garden in Canada and a UNESCO World Biosphere reserve (the Niagara Escarpment), is in our backyard, too.
And, while we have these many incredible natural treasures to experience and enjoy, we are also a city experiencing growth and intensification which can place these natural assets at risk. That is why our organization was pleased that the City of Burlington became the first municipality in Halton Region and the 63rd city in Canada to formally pass a Blue Dot declaration to enshrine our citizens' rights to breathe fresh air, drink clean water, eat healthy food and have a stable climate. This along with our Community Energy Plan and Strategic Plan goal of carbon neutrality, in essence protects these natural riches.
This declaration is essential if we are to safeguard a healthy environment for the people of today and tomorrow. J.C. Sawhill, former President of the Nature Conservancy,  said it well:

“In the end our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy”

Securing the legal protection of all Canadians' rights to live in a healthy environment is an opportunity to define us, our current generation, and this government as one that got it right; and one that took action to finally make rights that are fundamental to our ability to exist a priority.

View a great video clip of the day's events here.