Happy World Environment Day! The planet needs us to show up, participate, and work hard together to make change happen.
Here's what we're following:
Yesterday marks the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests. It's a good time to reflect on our right to protest; it is one we should exercise often. Remember those who stand up to tyrants.
The kids are doing alright - we're loving Greta Thunberg's movement of Friday school strikes for climate action. When progress is threatened - our health, education, Indigenous peoples, climate - we must show up and protect communities and our future.
This week, the final report and the 231 Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was released. As we head into a federal election, it's also good to remember our power to push those seeking our votes to commit to ending gender-based violence, colonialism and racism in our governance systems, and centre the knowledge and insights of Indigenous women and girls in our policies and decisions.
Last week the Ford government felt the massive public pressure and reversed its cuts to Ontario's municipalities, public health and child care. In this daily onslaught of cynical and scary news, it's important to connect to these stories of resistance and impact.
As for WHEN, here are a few ways you have helped to create change so far in 2019:
Toxic Beauty advocacy: we are so proud to be an advocacy partner of the documentary Toxic Beauty, which premiered this spring to sold-out audiences in Toronto and Vancouver, and help channel these audiences towards action and seek a ban on talc-based personal care products. If you haven't signed on to our call to get ovarian cancer-linked talc out of our personal care products you can send a letter here: https://www.bantalc.com/
Great Lakes Protection: We participated in the bi-national Great Lakes Summit, to provide feedback on recommendations to the Canadian government. WHEN continues to engage on water issues with our Great Lakes Protection Alliance partners, to support stronger protections for watersheds, communities and aquatic ecosystems.
Environmental Rights: WHEN, along with our co-hosts Ecojustice and the David Suzuki Foundation, held a symposium on environmental rights with a broad range of community organizations, and welcomed the insights of Maude Barlow, Dianne Saxe, Aamjiwnaang First Nation youth Vanessa Gray and Beze Gray, David Boyd and Olivia Chow during the panel discussion. You can find a local group working on environmental rights at http://bluedot.ca/
Green New Deal for Canada: WHEN has endorsed the Green New Deal for Canada, joined the massive coalition of organizations working to bring it to Canada, and hosted a town hall discussion for 150+ signatories at our office space. You can join the 50,000 people who have signed on: https://greennewdealcanada.ca/
Election toolkit: A shout-out to our colleagues at Breast Cancer Action Quebec for this great Election Toolkit, for individuals and groups to help shape the conversation this election on toxics laws in Canada: http://acsqc.ca/sites/default/files/bcaq-activism_toolkit2019w.pdf
Representing women and environmental health: We were delegates to the Chemicals Management Plan meetings in Ottawa last week, and we also met with the UN Rapporteur on Human Rights and Toxics ahead of their report release this Friday.
(Also, if you want to celebrate World Environment Day and help WHEN win $10,000, every dollar you give in June during the Canadian Giving Challenge puts us in the running: https://www.womenshealthyenvironments.ca/give)