Blue Dot’s next challenge: Federal Environmental Rights

November 16, 2016 | By Amy Juschka for

Today in Montreal, David Suzuki will announce the second phase of the Blue Dot movement.

“In two short years, more than 100,000 people have joined the Blue Dot movement for environmental rights, and 145 cities and towns have recognized these rights at the local level,” Suzuki said. “We’ve reached a critical mass and are now turning to the next phase of this campaign — a federal environmental bill of rights.”

Suzuki and a panel of experts will be joined online and in person for a national town hall to plan this next phase of the campaign. It seeks the legal recognition of the right to a healthy environment — including the right to clean air and water, safe food and a stable climate — for everyone in Canada. This is a major step towards the campaign’s ultimate objective of enshrining environmental rights in our Constitution, something already enjoyed by 110 countries worldwide, but not Canada.

“Donald Trump’s recent victory in the United States demonstrates the importance of guaranteeing rights to environmental protection,” Suzuki said. “Issues as important as clean air and water should not be left at the mercy of political cycles.”

Suzuki will be joined by Karine Péloffy, director general of the Quebec Centre for Environmental Law; Ellen Gabriel, Indigenous human rights activist; and Dr. François Reeves, cardiologist and author of Planet Heart. The panel will discuss the future of environmental rights in Canada from the perspectives of law, Indigenous rights and population health.

“Almost everyone in Canada believes nature is essential to our survival, and 85 per cent agree that our Charter of Rights and Freedoms should include the right to live in a healthy environment,” Suzuki said. “This idea has arrived, and it’s time for every level of government to protect its citizens’ right to a healthy environment.”

Join the town hall via live-stream at 8 p.m. EDT or follow along on Facebook live at