Photo of Rupert and Lanny sitting on fence smiling toward gamera

Franny and Rubert were just seven and 10 years old when we began to volunteer with the David Suzuki Foundation’s Blue Dot movement. (Photo: David Ellingsen)

Hi there. This is Franny Ladell Yakelashek and Rupert Yakelashek from British Columbia. We’ve been environmental activists as long as we can remember, and we’re coming to you today with a really exciting favour to ask:

Will you please sign this petition to the House of Commons that we started to strengthen the Canadian Environmental Protection Act? We want it to protect vulnerable communities and, for the first time, recognize in Canadian law our right to live in a healthy environment.

The past seven months have taken us on an unexpected journey of trial and reflection. Since the pandemic began, we’ve had lots of time at home with our family, talking and ruminating on the state of the world and our individual lives. So many thoughts and feelings keep coming up: frustrations and fears, sure, but also gratitude, compassion and love. We’ve deepened our understanding and renewed our commitment to what is most important to us.

It’s hard to imagine a time in our lives when we were not talking about environmental rights and sharing our vision for a more equitable, healthier and stronger Canada.

We were only seven and 10 years old when we began to volunteer with the David Suzuki Foundation’s Blue Dot movement. It’s hard to imagine a time in our lives when we were not talking about environmental rights and sharing our vision for a more equitable, healthier and stronger Canada. In our time with Blue Dot, we found our voices, confidence and a path to make change. We’re grateful for all the experiences and learning opportunities we’ve had — standing and presenting in municipal chambers and schools, in conference halls and on beaches, in the legislature and rallying in front of it. We’re also grateful to all our environmental mentors, the supportive politicians and community leaders, our fellow environmental advocates and our peers who are choosing to spend their youth stepping up for their community, their planet and their future.

We’re thrilled to report that after two months, it had more than 7,000 signatures! Let’s not stop there.

This summer, we had the pleasure of working with our member of Parliament, NDP environment and climate change critic Laurel Collins, as well as Blue Dot and other organizations and volunteers to create an e-petition to the House of Commons urging the federal government to update its main environmental law, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, including amendments to recognize environmental rights in Canada. We’re thrilled to report that after two months, it had more than 7,000 signatures! Let’s not stop there. We hope that number continues to rise, and we have a strong belief that this petition will show federal leaders there is never a bad time to strengthen environmental policies and protect the health of Canadians and the planet.

Our communities, our country and our planet need us to commit, recommit and continue taking steps toward a brighter and more just tomorrow.

Over the past six years, we’ve been lucky to be a part of a committed community of people who hold the strong and tenacious belief that every Canadian deserves to have their environmental rights recognized. Blue Dot and its volunteers have changed the national conversation about environmental rights and justice.

Times are hard right now, and we may still be in the midst of a health emergency. But now is the time to also move ahead with things that are vital to our health. Our communities, our country and our planet need us to commit, recommit and continue taking steps toward a brighter and more just tomorrow. Please sign this House of Commons e-petition for the health and wellness of our country and planet. Thank you for all you do.

URGE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO STRENGTHEN CEPA!