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What s more important than fresh air to breathe, clean water to drink and healthy food to eat? As Canadians, we like to think of ourselves as leaders in human rights and quality of life, but are we really? Half of Canadians are breathing polluted air. At any one time, more than 1,000 communities are advised to boil their tap water. Thirty years ago, we saw important environmental victories: we stopped acid rain, revived rivers, and saved old-growth forest. But today, we re fighting the same battles, as dangerous development projects threaten people s access to clean air and waterall because the root causes of environmental damage are still there. If we are to make a lasting change, we need to recognize our most basic priorities in our legal framework. The Blue Dot movement calls for the right to a healthy environment to be protected in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These inspiring speeches and poems by prominent Canadians tell us that we can and must step forward to protect the people and places we love, now and in the future.
David Suzuki is an internationally renowned geneticist and environmentalist and a cofounder of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is the author of more than 40 books and is a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, and in 2007 was named one of Time Magazine's Heroes of the Environment. He lives in Vancouver.