Maple Ridge joins Blue Dot

Maple Ridge has joined the campaign for clean environment by requesting a provincial bill of environmental rights ...

Maple Ridge has joined the campaign for clean environment by requesting a provincial bill of environmental rights that calls for the right to have clean air, water, safe and healthy food and functional ecosystems.

Council is also asking the provincial government to give the public a say on environmental issues, redress when environmental rights are infringed upon, along with whistle-blower protection.

The resolution was passed at Maple Ridge council’s Jan. 26 meeting after being introduced by Coun. Corisa Bell.

By doing so, Maple Ridge becomes the 111th Blue Dot Community across Canada.

The Blue Dot campaign is an initiative of the David Suzuki Foundation in which municipalities lead the way by asking senior governments to legislate a right to a clean environment.

“The aspirational goals of the Blue Dot movement are actually alive and well in our community,” Mayor Nicole Read said in a news release.

“Our council, building on the courage and legacy of past councils, has recently endorsed a new Environmental Management Plan, enacted a new tree protection bylaw and has established an environmental advisory committee. “It is great to translate our values into action,” Read said.

Bell said the city is already recognized as an environmental steward, “and our citizens are continually telling us that this is what they love and value about living in Maple Ridge.”

The resolution also aligns with the City of Maple Ridge’s Mission Statement to provide “a safe, livable and sustainable community for our present and future citizens.”

The Blue Dot website says “thousands of Canadians are voicing a simple but powerful truth: environmental rights are human rights.”

According to the Blue Dot campaign, countries that recognize the right to a healthy environment perform better environmentally and economically, compared to those that do not.

“Environmental rights spur innovation, increase competitiveness and bolster economic growth.”

That’s good for what Blue Dot says is Canada’s fastest growing industry – clean tech – “which has the potential to improve environmental quality and build economic resilience in the age of climate change.”