EDITORIAL – Blue Dot request will test City council’s green commitment


An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

WE’LL SEE HOW COMMITTED Kamloops City council is to the environment today (June 18, 2010) when a seemingly routine request for a declaration of support comes up.

The Kamloops chapter of what’s known as the Blue Dot network will ask that council support the inclusion of clean air, clean water and healthy food as basic human rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The campaign started several years ago, asking for similar declarations in municipalities across the country, but only now is making its way to the Kamloops council. Why? Because the strategy is to build citizen support before asking for municipal support, and local organizers say they’re now approaching 2,000 sign-ups.

Sounds like a no-brainer, but is it? Blue Dot originates with David Suzuki, a man who carries controversy with him wherever he goes. While many love him for his environmental crusades, others criticize him for his extensive air travel and real estate holdings.

Not all municipal councils are enamored with the Blue Dot movement, either. The council in the rural town of Metchosen declined to endorse it due to what it called possible legal ramifications and “unintended consequences.”

When Kelowna City council was asked to support it, it didn’t get off the ground. The council declined even to investigate how other municipalities have dealt with it and how it impacts municipal policies.

Though the declaration is non-binding, and is only a step toward getting it into law at the federal level, it’s not without obligations. For example, when Surrey wanted to put a road through a municipal park, Suzuki accused the council of failing on its Blue Dot commitment.

Still, some 173 councils have endorsed it. Will the Kamloops council be onside, or will it get bogged down in questions?

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (7618 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – Blue Dot request will test City council’s green commitment

  1. Alan Smith // June 19, 2019 at 11:42 AM // Reply

    Jasper is one of a number of Alberta towns that have adopted the blue dot approach and not one has adopted a single clean air measure. Unfortunately, the Green approach does not include clean air measures—just playing at cycling and recycling etc. Borrowing from the U.S. we need an end to residential wood burning (New York) and emission testing for cars (17 states). Industrial pollution in B.C. and Alberta has yet to be addressed.

  2. Ian M MacKenzie // June 18, 2019 at 7:12 PM // Reply

    Well, Stewart, I’m hoping that in the next 11 years the “nonsense” of a manufactured crisis remains nonsense. In the meantime, my bet joins that of doomsday prophets, particularly after Justin’s forked tongue decisions of the last two days.

  3. Stewart Duncan // June 18, 2019 at 9:43 AM // Reply

    There are few days in my entire life (allowing for forest fires) when I haven’t been able to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat healthy food. This is another manufactured crisis, promoted by false doomsday prophets like Suzuki, who make millions through this nonsense.

  4. George M. Johnson // June 18, 2019 at 9:41 AM // Reply

    Thank you Mel for bringing attention to this important humanitarian issue! Let’s hope Council has the commitment to add our voice to over 172 municipalities across Canada that have already signed on to the Blue Dot movement for such basic rights to clean air, clean water, and healthy food.

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