Winnipeg was the twelvth Canadian city to be visited by the bluedot tour on October 24th. The Burton Cummings theatre was buzzing with excitement as folks from all age groups and walks of life came to be inspired for change. Dr. Suzuki was of course the headliner, but such incredible local talent was showcased for this particular show, that it was pretty much impossible not to be beaming with pride upon leaving the theatre. Performers like Fred Penner had us singing about garbage just like when we were kids. Severn Suzuki, the daughter of David Suzuki gave a truly inspirational speech as one of her first stops on the tour. Other performances included Tanya Tagaq, Sierra Noble, Ovide Mercredi and a special choreography from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
And when the man finally came to the stage he was greeted with a standing ovation before even saying a word. He spoke of clean air, fresh water and healthy food as a right that every Canadian should be entitled to. He explained that right now, Canadians everywhere are affected by pollutants in our air and water. As a natural teacher and long-time scientist, he weaved in lessons on the interconnectivity that we all have to each other and the environment around us emphasizing that we cannot survive without these vital resources. His call to action was for us to join the movement that demands environmental laws ensuring that all Canadians have access to clean air, fresh water and healthy food. Currently 1 out of 2 Canadians are exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution and there are over 1000 boil-water advisories throughout the country. The right to a healthy environment has been recognized as a citizen’s right in over 110 countries around the world, but not in Canada. It’s time for our governments to step up.
Here in Winnipeg, it was obvious that we feel this is worth fighting for. 29 selected individuals were invited to turn inspiration into action. A personal meet and greet with David Suzuki and training sessions on strategy, power and leading from the grass roots became the focus. We came together with a vision to get a municipal declaration for a healthy environment from our newly elected council. Watch for updates on the Winnipeg Blue Dot Movement here.
Green Action Centre was there to help pave the way. As the bluedot tour continues across the country over the next few weeks, here in Winnipeg we will continue to plan and strategize our call for support to get governments from all levels involved and committed to making the right to a healthy environment a reality for all Canadians. “It’s only impossible until someone decides that it’s not, today we decide.” Will you join us?