Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park with Blue Dot

Maryam and Nivaal Rehman | Toronto, Canada After months of advocacy and working hard to share Blue Dot’s message with Ontarians and Members of Provincial Parliament across the province, we came together at our Provincial Parliament Building (Queen’s Park). We participated in a meeting with Provincial Government Leaders, and showed support for the movement alongside its founder, Dr. David Suzuki. The group had a lot of environmental activists and leaders from around the province. There were indigenous leaders from Toronto, the Burlington Green team, and lawyers from eco justice. All of their work in their own communities to stand up for environmental rights through Blue Dot, but also to address environmental challenges in other spaces is really important. The environment impacts all aspects of our lives, and these groups are ensuring that they are reducing the negative environmental impacts on people on their own communities. Everyone was so inspirational, and their journeys to taking action for the environment really empowered us to continue our work. Being in a space with like-minded individuals who are also taking action for a cause that you care about, shows you that you are not alone, and you have the ability to create change too. No matter what age you are, or what background you belong to, you have the ability to create change. There are people who support Blue Dot from all different backgrounds and different age groups. This just goes to show that the environment is an issue that impacts everyone. This is why everyone needs to take action for it. The people present at this event were only a small representative of the incredibly diverse communities that are taking action for the environment through the Blue Dot Campaign. The event started off with speeches from various leaders, as well as a recognition of all the hard work of volunteers like our team in the Durham Region, on the Ontario Bill of Rights Campaign with Blue Dot. The founder of this campaign, Dr. David Suzuki also had meetings alongside provincial Blue Dot leaders with provincial Ministers and Members of Parliament. Part of the provincial campaign consisted of community members sending postcards to their MPPs, urging them to take action and support Blue Dot’s campaign. During the meetings that took place at this event, hundreds of more postcards were delivered in-person so that the voices of and ideas of Ontarians were shared with leaders. These postcards included messages from Ontarians and their personal stories of why they supported Blue Dot’s advocacy role. We created a video about the impact the environment has on our health, and the importance of having the right to a healthy environment. This is something that seems like it should “obviously” part of the laws and constitution of a country like Canada, because it makes sense, and improves the lives of so many people. However, this is currently not the case. Blue Dot started by creating this change at the municipal level (before we got involved), and now, we are so honoured to be part of their provincial campaign in our province. This is another important step to making this be recognized federally, for all Canadians. In our video, we featured important messages from the speakers, interviews with the attendees, as an interactive art piece that all the attendees worked on throughout the day. Visit www.bluedot.ca and @bluedotcampaign to hear more updates about this campaign and how to get involved.

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© 2019 by Maryam and Nivaal Rehman