Making Peace Vigil

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THE RIGHT TO A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT: THIS BLUE DOT IS OUR ONLY HOME

Posted by strattof on August 27, 2015

The Blue Dot refers to planet earth, as seen from outer space. The Blue Dot Movement is an initiative of the David Suzuki Foundation. It aims to see the right to a healthy environment enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

That right includes: ●breathing clean air ●drinking fresh water ●consuming safe food ●knowing about pollutants released into the local environment ●accessing nature ●participating in government decisions that will affect the environment.

As a first step toward achieving this goal, the Blue Dot Movement is calling on all Canadian municipalities to recognize citizens’ right to a healthy environment by making a declaration. Our contribution as citizens is to sign the Blue Dot petition.

77 Canadian municipal governments have already passed resolutions declaring citizens’ right to a healthy environment.

Please sign the Regina Blue Dot petition: http://bluedot.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Petition.pdf

WHY A MUNICIPAL DECLARATION?

  • Declarations are a commitment by municipalities to address local environmental concerns.
  • Municipal governments make decisions that affect the quality of the environment.
  • A municipal declaration is a commitment to principles that will protect, fulfill, and promote the right to a healthy environment.
  • Such a commitment is critical to changing the Charter and seeing legislation that will protect, fulfill, and promote the right to a healthy environment.

REGINA’S UNHEALTHY ENVIRONMENT

Currently, Regina does not have a very healthy environment. Our air is polluted with vehicle exhaust fumes and our parks, lawns, and gardens are contaminated with pesticides.

Some areas of our city—notably Harbour Landing and Somerset—face additional environmental challenges because of their proximity to oil industry operations.

ACHIEVING A HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT: 5 STEPS REGINA CAN TAKE

  1. Reduce the number of cars on the road.
  • Provide Regina Transit with adequate funding so it can improve service and increase ridership. One bus load of passengers takes the equivalent of 40 vehicles off the road, reducing emissions by more than 12,000 tonnes a year.
  • Increase the number of bike lanes.
  1. Place a city-wide ban on the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes.

Over 170 municipalities have banned the cosmetic use of pesticides. In Regina it is still legal to use dangerous pesticides, like 2,4-D, in parks and on lawns and gardens.The Canadian Cancer Society says “Research linking pesticides to serious health issues is significant and growing.”

  1. Ban the transport of tar sands oil through the city by rail or pipeline.

►TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline runs through Regina in the Harbour Landing area. ►A rail line runs through the centre of our city. ►Both present serious safety hazards.

  1. Halt the Somerset development.

Located north of Uplands, Somerset is adjacent to the Co-op Refinery. Oil refineries release pollutants that are linked to asthma in children and heart and lung disease in adults. Both Regina-Qu’Appelle Health Region and the provincial Ministry of the Environment oppose the development.

  1. Stop polluting other people’s environment.

Last summer, Regina released 900,000 litres of untreated sewage into the Qu’Appelle watershed. This summer it released 15 million litres. In so doing, Regina has shown total disregard for the well-being of downstream communities.

T A K E   A C T I O N

  1. Learn more about the Blue Dot Movement. There is lots of information online.
  2. Download a petition and start collecting signatures: http://bluedot.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Petition.pdf
  3. Let Mayor Michael Fougere and your City Councillor know you want Regina City Council to pass a resolution declaring citizens’ right to a healthy environment.
  4. Also tell them you want City Council to take steps to make a healthy environment a reality in Regina.
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