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WIN! Hamilton ratifies Blue Dot Declaration

Blue DotThe Council of Canadians Hamilton chapter supported the campaign for the City of Hamilton to ratify the Blue Dot Declaration.

The Hamilton Blue Dot Initiative Newsletter now reports, “Hamilton City Council [has] ratified its version of the Blue Dot Declaration, becoming the twenty-third community in Canada and, very significantly, the first one in Ontario to do so. …Thanks to all of you who have helped Hamilton Blue Dot achieve such amazing success in such a short period of time!”

As noted on the Blue Dot website, “Across the country, Canadians believe in our inherent right to a healthy environment – clean water, fresh air, healthy food and a say in decisions that affect us. This growing movement of Canadians calls upon their local communities to pass municipal declarations respecting people’s right to live in a healthy environment.”

It adds, “With so many communities calling for action from all levels of government, the next step is to have our provinces follow suit and pass environmental bills of rights. When seven out of 10 provinces representing more than 50 per cent of the Canadian population have recognized our right to a healthy environment we turn toward the ultimate goal: amending the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Recognition in the Charter is the final step in protecting the right to clean air, fresh water and healthy food for all Canadians.”

On the right to clean water, David Suzuki and Michael Dan have written, “Many communities, particularly northern and Aboriginal, suffer from poor access to healthy and affordable food, clean water, proper housing and other necessary infrastructure. An ironic example of this disparity is at Shoal Lake, about two hours east of Winnipeg. There, two First Nations, Shoal Lake 39 and 40, are next to the City of Winnipeg’s main drinking-water supply, but Shoal Lake 40 has been on a boil-water advisory for decades. …[This] is a national shame and must be resolved immediately. It’s yet another reason why the right to a healthy environment needs to be recognized by all levels of government in Canada — and ultimately, in our Constitution.”

The Georgia Straight has also reported, “[Suzuki points] out that if the Constitution recognized Canadians’ right to clean water, government rules around logging in watersheds would be subject to judicial review. He also said that Canada has more fresh water per capita than any other country in the world yet there are more than 1,000 boil-water alerts sent out every day.”

For more information on how you can take action and support the Blue Dot campaign, please click here.

Further reading
Will you sign on the Blue Dot line? (December 2014 Hamilton Spectator op-ed by Blue Dot organizer Grant Linney)