Metchosin turns down kids’ request to sign onto Blue Dot initiative

Mayor appreciates principles of Declaration, warns against legal ramifications of entrenching it in Charter of Rights

The Blue Dot movement has not been endorsed in Metchosin.

The council table was divided at a May 11 meeting, following a presentation by students from West-Mont Montessori school looking to get the David Suzuki Foundation’s Declaration for the Right to a Healthy Environment officially supported by the rural community.

“It was a big disappointment and heartbreaking to me that council didn’t support it. It was a terrific initiative brought forward by children,” said Coun. Moralea Milne. “It was an important document, a vision for a healthy environment for those young people and generations that come after them.”

The approximately 10-minute presentation involved some words from the school about the Blue Dot movement, and a student-made poster brought forward featured a blue dot placed by each of the children, who wrote down why the initiative was important to them. It now hangs in the municipal hall.

Mayor John Ranns addressed the children after their presentation and told them the District of Metchosin and its people support the values set out in the declaration. He noted, however, that entrenching such a document in the Canadian Charter of Rights, as Suzuki is attempting to do, would lead to “unintended consequences” that could see “urban” demands legally brought against rural communities like Metchosin, a situation he said would lead to higher taxes.

Milne and Coun. Andy MacKinnon voted to endorse the declaration, while Ranns and councillors Kyara Kahakauwila and Bob Gramigna voted against. The Declaration has been endorsed by 10 of 13 communities in Greater Victoria to date.

“Even though I am terribly disheartened by not passing this, Metchosin is a green and rural community and all of council supports that,” Milne said. “We just have different ways of looking at things.”

alim@goldstreamgazette.com