David Suzuki has just wound up his 50 city bike tour of Canada in Victoria this week, and as he biked across the final stretch he was met by a crowd eager to hear him speak and share their ideas for a greener country. The noted Canadian environmentalist embarked on his cross country journey from St. John’s on February 1st and as he made his way over the next 9436 kilometres the Doctor has been speaking to sold out assemblies and sharing his passion for the environment. Most notably, he has been gathering citizen opinion about Canada’s environment policies in the form of the ‘What if YOU were Prime Minister?’ campaign.
The campaign urged Canadians to put their ideas for environmental policy into a 20 second video format; at the culmination of the cross country tour Suzuki has taken these entries (584 in total, according to his YouTube official group) to Ottawa to present to Parliament. Suzuki has always presented his ideas in a non partisan context, and as far as this campaign is concerned the environmentalist believes that Canadian government is so divided on other issues that it should be shown environmental ideas with no Party labelling. With this approach, Suzuki and his hundreds of participants are hoping that the Minority government will be able to see past the usual ‘green’ party politics and vote to implement some real change.
So what do the prospective Prime Ministers think is best for Canada? Most simply want increased funding to projects for developing sustainable energies and clean burning fuels; still others would appoint Suzuki as the official Environment Minister. You may wonder what the point is of nearly 500 people stating their interest in the same simple concepts, but the point is that with these videos, Canadian are essentially voting for their ideas to be put into action. More environmental development funding sounds obvious, but nevertheless it isn’t being undertaken to any comprehensive extent. By hearing over and over how it needs doing by the very people our government is supposed to be listening to ? us ? they just might choose to listen.
Watch this space!