Our names are Franny and Rupert. We are nine and twelve years old. We are environmental rights advocates who work with the Blue Dot movement. We believe that every Canadian has the right to clean water, healthy good, clean air and access to nature. And we believe that everyone has the right to be a part of the decision-making that affects the environment, and our health and well-being.

For the past two years, we have been speaking to municipal, provincial and federal political leaders. We have been writing letters, having meetings, doing presentations, making speeches and spreading the word about environmental rights. And we have been trying to inspire other kids and youth to get civically engaged. A couple of years ago we thought, as kids, we did not have the power to make change in our community and world. In the fall of 2014, we learned that more than 110 countries have formally recognized their citizen’s right to live in a healthy environment… but not Canada. We are proud Canadians and we felt we had to do everything we could to help Canada become even stronger environmentally. Since we started taking action, we have become empowered and now know that even though we are not old enough to vote our voice, values and opinions matter.

We feel so lucky to grow up in Victoria. We know some Canadian kids aren’t as lucky because they are exposed to unsafe environmental conditions. Currently we, with other environmental rights advocates and Blue Dot volunteers, are asking federal leaders to make a Federal Bill of Environmental Rights so every Canadian child and their family can live in a safe and healthy environment.

There is still a lot of work to do but we are motivated to do whatever we can to try to make positive change and to have our environmental rights formally recognized in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms!

Leadership means stepping up. Leadership means taking action. Leadership means inspiring and supporting others to do their best work. Leadership is believing in yourself and following your heart.

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