Rocker Neil Young slammed Canada's current leadership as he threw his support behind David Suzuki's campaign to enshrine the right to a healthy environment in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
"Recent leadership has trashed what we have and made it such a negative thing, and given Canada such a negative image. It's a tragedy," said Young, referring to the federal government's recent record on environment issues.
"The true north strong and free – pretty amazing when you think about Canada and Canada's history in the world, what a great country this is and how many great resources we have," said Young.
Young also donated $100,000 to Suzuki's Blue Dot campaign when the two appeared together yesterday in Vancouver ahead of Young's concert that evening.
A right to clean air, water, and food?
The Canadian-born musician said it should be the right of all Canadians to breathe clean air, drink clean water and have access to healthy food — and people need the legal protections to fight companies that put profits first.
"There is nothing in the [charter] that you have the right to breath and have clean water and have clean food, so there is really a difficulty in using the judicial system to take on the giant multinational corporations that are bent on profit," said Young.
"The Blue Dot movement actually gives people who care about the earth and the way they live a platform ... A legal platform that is possible to use as a tool when taking on the aggression of the multinational corporations in their quest for more cash at the expense of the environment and our life — and all life," said Young.
The appearance was part the Blue Dot Tour which Suzuki launched last year, featuring a line-up of Canadian entertainers and writers such as Margaret Atwood, Bruce Cockburn and Feist.
Suzuki pointed to the opposition by First Nations to the Northern Gateway pipeline as an example of communities standing up for the environment.
"Some things are more important than money, even for communities that are desperate for economic opportunities," he said.