WIN! Northumberland chapter celebrates Town of Cobourg vote in support of the right to a healthy environment

Town of Cobourg Town Hall

The Council of Canadians Northumberland chapter is celebrating that the Town of Cobourg's Committee of the Whole has recommended that staff develop a municipal declaration recognizing the right to clean water, fresh air and healthy food.

As explained on the Town's website, "The Town of Cobourg Council meets in Committee of the Whole to discuss the items in the agenda. At this meeting, they discuss the items on the agenda and pass a motion (which lays out the action to be taken on the matter). The next meeting is a Regular Council meeting where the decisions of Council are formalized by Resolutions or By-laws."

The Northumberland News reports, "The Town of Cobourg could be the first municipality in Northumberland County to issue a declaration that supports its citizens’ right to a healthy environment. During a committee of the whole meeting on May 8, Bruce Bellaire and Tom Shea spoke on behalf of the Council of Canadians to outline the Blue Dot movement, which is a project of the David Suzuki Foundation and sponsors."

The article highlights, "Bellaire asked the Town of Cobourg to approve the motion to have staff create a Cobourg-specific municipal declaration in support of the movement, which was ultimately passed by council that night."

Bellaire says, “This year, the local chapter of the Council of Canadians has made it their key project to run a Blue Dot Northumberland campaign and to go to all seven of the municipalities in the county to ask for a municipal declaration."

He adds, "The Council of Canadians in particular has gotten behind this because of some of the water issues in Northumberland, and the drought last year pointed out that clean water is not something that is always a given."

As noted on the Blue Dot campaign's 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."

In February 2015, our Hamilton chapter supported the successful campaign for Hamilton to become a Blue Dot community. In June 2015 our Sudbury chapter expressed support for Sudbury becoming a Blue Dot community as a way to protect Ramsey Lake -- a downtown lake historically stressed by smelter emissions from mining in the area -- from the impact of a proposed subdivision. And in February of this year our Regina chapter celebrated the City of Regina unanimously passing a Blue Dot municipal declaration.