Kamloops council has sent the David Suzuki Foundation’s Blue Dot campaign to the committee level for further hashing out — despite the fact the campaign was sent to council from the committee level.
On Tuesday, the Kamloops Blue Dot Network appeared before council, explaining it had about 2,000 supporters locally in a global effort to lobby the federal government to include clean air, water and healthy food as human rights in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Council voted 6-3 to refer a decision to support the campaign back to the committee. Voting in favour were Mayor Ken Christian and councillors Sadie Hunter, Mike O’Reilly, Kathy Sinclair, Dieter Dudy and Bill Sarai. Opposed were councillors Dale Bass, Arjun Singh and Denis Walsh.
Singh pushed council to support a modified version of the declaration, which would be largely aspirational in order to show support to the local campaign. He said the rights are not exclusive of economic interests.
“This is us joining a larger movement to sort of say we’re part of something that’s bigger than ourselves,” Singh said.
Christian, however, expressed concern about mixed messages. He noted the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approval that same day — which David Suzuki opposed — and suggested instead of approving parts of the declaration, the sustainability committee analyze the information.
Sarai said the city is already doing a number of things outlined in the campaign.
“I’m just sort of confused why we’ve got to endorse something that we’re all elected to do,” he said.
The matter will go to the city’s sustainability committee next week. The committee already discussed the issue at its last meeting, when it decided to invite the group to council to appear as a delegation for more information.