Canada’s Grande Finale for 2017? …World Heritage & Sustainable Development

Media Release, For Immediate Release
October 30, 2017

“Let’s Be A Great Nation & Envy of All’
Non-Profits Call For Grande Finale to 2017

[CEDAR, BC] – Two non-profit organizations have approached federal, provincial and local BC politicians as 2017 comes to an end, urging a Grande Finale that will leave a legacy for Canada, and benefit the 2067 generation.

“Let’s stand up for ourselves and be great!” writes Laurie Gourlay. “We are approaching you as our representatives to champion the spirit and strength that is British Columbia, and Canada…calling upon you to provide leadership and commitment to the very best our province and country has to offer.”

Timely, with Canada’s 150th birthday ending, the non-profits note that the 30th anniversary of the Brundtland Report is December 11th, of particular importance given Canada’s contribution to international diplomacy and the deliberations which led to sustainable development globally. And with the 10th anniversary of UNDRIP just passed on September 13th, a new relationship with indigenous peoples and First Nations resonates with promise in BC and across Canada.

“Each generation is entitled to the interest on the natural capital, but the principal should be handed on unimpaired,” Gourlay quotes from remarks by the Canadian Conservation Commission in 1915. “As Canadians we’ve always believed that we have an obligation to leave something of ourselves, and the world we live in, for those who come after,” says Gourlay. “And today we’re suggesting Canadian principles, and practices that protect this rich and prosperous land, should be celebrated before this year is out.”

“Canada is a great nation and the envy of the world,” Gourlay adds. “Our past investments in the World Commission on Environment and Development, in the mid-80’s, immediately come to mind …along with some 40 new World Heritage Site contenders from across the country who are presently aspiring to the ‘outstanding universal values’ of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site program.”

“In your Constituency, and across our great province and country, please consider and support our legacy, and future,” the non-profits suggest. “And please consider support for UNESCO, and our cultural and natural World Heritage by protecting those places which inspire and represent the best we have in this beautiful and diverse nation.”

And, without actually saying so, the letter indirectly refers to the work of the two sister organizations, the V.I. and Coast Conservation Society, and the Salish Sea Trust*. Over the past five years VICCS has encouraged December 11th, the day the United Nations formally received the Brundtland Report, to be recognized as a ‘Day For Our Common Future’.

The Government of British Columbia and some two-dozen local governments have signed on since, and are again being approached this year. The non-profit Salish Sea Trust presently has an application under consideration for the Salish Sea to be recognized as a World Heritage Site, as well as a House of Commons UNESCO Petition gathering signatures for presentation to Parliament.

“We can do it all if we try, if we have the will,” says Gourlay. “Thirty years after ‘Our Common Future’ provided a guide to balance our economic and environmental goals, and a hundred years after the Conservation Commission reminded us not to touch the principal, we should be taking inventory – asking ourselves what our legacy will be, what inheritance will we leave for Canadians to celebrate on their 200th birthday?”

– 30 –

Further information:
Laurie Gourlay
President of the V.I. and Coast Conservation Society
Interim Director, Salish Sea Trust

*<http://viccs.vcn.bc.ca/all-nations-and-peoples-proclamation-a-day-for-our-common-future/> , and
<http://salishseatrust.ca/2016/10/31/updating-canadas-tentative-list-for-world-heritage-sites/>

Salish Sea Trust & VICCS, Box 333, Cedar, B.C., V9X 1W1
<salishseatrust@shaw.ca> (www.salishseatrust.ca)
<viccs@shaw.ca> (www.viccs.vcn.bc.ca)
**************