Humans of Blue Dot: Catherine

(Photo: Caroline Dostie Photograhie)

Catherine Merklinger, violin teacher and Blue Dot volunteer.

As the daughter of a diplomat, I had the chance to live in several countries at an early age, including Egypt, India, the United States and France. When we lived in Washington in the late 1970s, my father worked on acid rain in North America. He was extremely passionate about this subject and we often had lively family discussions around the table. This undoubtedly made me aware of the importance of protecting the environment. 
In addition, many people and milestones in my life have contributed to my ecological awareness. I first met David Suzuki in 2011, and in 2014 I had the honor of seeing him speak during the Blue Dot tour, which was a decisive moment. When I got home, I thought, “I have to do my part.” The neighborhood where I live, Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, was also the first in Quebec to adopt the Blue Dot Declaration for the right to a healthy environment. It made me even more proud of my community and inspired me to get involved in this campaign. 
Since then, I became co-captain for Blue Dot Montreal. I work with a nice team of more than a dozen dedicated volunteers. Being a music teacher, I’ve come to see them as my small community “band,” and we tirelessly  put on community and school events to educate youth about environmental protection and links to people’s health. We are also trying to get politicians to make a real commitment to that goal, so that Canada becomes an example around the world.

Blue Dot relies on the efforts of dedicated citizens taking action in their local communities. Humans of Blue Dot is an attempt to capture the unique stories of some inspiring volunteers who have generously given their time to advancing the environmental rights movement in Canada.