Did you know that compared to surrounding cities Kamloops is slow to join this growing environmental campaign?
Here is a clear explanation of everything Blue Dot by Ross Styles, Chair of Kamloops Blue Dot Network, and Dr. George M. Johnson, Member:
“More than 100 countries around the world have some sort of legal recognition of human rights to clean water, clean air and healthy food, while Canada has none.
The David Suzuki Foundation started the Blue Dot movement( bluedot.ca) to get the federal government to add these rights to the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
Their strategy is to get Canadians to join the Blue Dot Program, to get municipal governments to make declarations in support of these rights, to get provincial governments to do so as well, and finally, to get the federal government to amend the Charter and add these rights.
So far, more than 170 municipalities, in all parts of the country, have made declarations of support and the aggregate population of these municipalities adds up to more than half the population of Canada. The list includes BC municipalities like Vancouver, North Vancouver, Nanaimo and Vernon, but NOT Kamloops.
Here in Kamloops, a small group of people are working to support the Blue Dot Program by getting people to join, and we want to have the city council of Kamloops recognize our right to clean water, clean air, and healthy food. (After all, why shouldn’t they? Our city council spent $70 million to provide us with healthy, safe, clean water.) The local group is calling itself the Kamloops Blue Dot Network.
We are asking citizens of Kamloops to join our effort to get a municipal declaration here and to support the Foundation’s effort to get the Charter changed.
Thank you for considering this request!”
Ross Styles and Dr. George M. Johnson have been working diligently this year to get this important message out for all Canadians.
Ross Styles has spent 44 years in Kamloops where he and his late wife raised their three children. He has been retired from his work as a high school counsellor for 31 years.
During the first 13 years of that retirement, he and a partner shared ownership a reforestation business that planted most of the yearly volume of seedlings on Weyerhaeuser’s TFL; typically around 1.5 million seedlings.
Throughout his retirement he has continued to be a life-long learner.
Nearly 3 years ago, he read a book that focused his attention on climate change and since then he has continued to read about environmental issues and encouraged a small group of concerned people to join with him in that pursuit. They decided to take on a local project that could make a difference, and George Johnson urged them to get involved with the Blue Dot Program: now, they are working to make Kamloops a Blue Dot city.
Member George M. Johnson is an award-winning writer and social justice advocate. His play Mockus, about a clown who provokes a desperate Mayor into trying playful approaches to his city’s environmental ills, was successfully produced in Kamloops in 2017.
Most recently his screenplay Peace Pledge was an Official Finalist in the Cannes Screenplay Contest and the New Renaissance Film Festival, and received Honorable Mention in the Euroscript Screenplay Competition (London).
His picture book Marisa and the Mountains will be published by Simply Read Books this spring. He was recently awarded the Kamloops YMCA Peace Medal.
Johnson is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia.
To take action:
Photo: NASA Earth