Photo: Chinese-Canadian elders and youth support Blue Dot Tour and Right to a Healthy Environment

Adelaide Wong may only be a couple of months old. But her grandfather is not taking any chances.

Adelaide is the granddaughter of physician Joseph Wong, founder of Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care in the Greater Toronto Area and a well-known community and human-rights activist with numerous awards, including the Toronto Star's 1986 Man of the Year, Order of Canada in 1993 and the Red Cross Power of Humanity Award in 2005.

Today, Dr. Wong is all grandpa!

Dr. Wong was one of many friends and guests of the David Suzuki Foundation who joined David at the Richmond Hill Blue Dot event.


Dr. Joseph Wong speaking at the Richmond Hill Blue Dot event.

"Two months ago, Adelaide, my first grandchild was born," Dr. Wong told the Blue Dot audience last Thursday. "I looked at her face and thought, what could I do to better her life? There is something I have to do within my lifetime to make sure she lives as comfortable a life as I do. Then I thought, what is more important than a healthy enivronment: fresh air, clean drinking water, healthy food, sunshine and blue sky without the shadow of pollution?"

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"Many immigrants came to this country for peace, education, freedom, security, opportunity, and clean and healthy environment," Dr. Wong continued. "Like everything else, we cannot take things for granted. I fully endorse the initative of this movement to include the right to a healthy environment in our Constitution. Universal medical care is a right. So is the right to drink clean water, breathe fresh air and eat healthy food. We have to leave this world in a better shape than the one we inherited. I look at Adelaide's face and I told her, I will do my part."


Dr. Jospeh Wong, Christine and Adelaide Wong.

Apart from Dr. Wong's validation of the Right to a Healthy Environment, the Richmond Hill Blue Dot event was also touched by overwelming support from local youth group Across U-Hub, which provided volunteers for the event as well as an artwork display.

"Across U-Hub is a non-profit organization with a mission to nurture the holistic development of our immigrant youth. They are first-, second- and third-generation Canadians," said Maria Yau, research co-ordinator for the Toronto District School Board and a director for the youth group. "Our collaboration with the David Suzuki Foundation since 2012 such as Camp Suzuki and the Rouge Park initiatives has given our youth a platform and concrete opportunities to put these values and spirit into practice."


Maria Yau at the Richmond Hill Blue Dot Event

To mark their support for the Blue Dot Movement, Across U-Hub and its youth volunteers helped host the the October 2 evening event at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, and showed off their gift to the tour, a sculpture called the Tree of Hope.

According to Teresa Chan, project manager for the Tree of Hope art installation, turning 4,000 used disposable cups into an art installation is truly a labour of love. "Two hundred youth used eight months to make this happen. Not only did they learn the need to think twice before they get another drink with a disposable cup, they also learned by working together, they can be a solution to a healthy environment that they love and enjoy."


Across U-Hub volunteers with the Tree of Hope.

"I believe these collective actions have not only helped promote an urgent cause to the larger community," Yau told the Blue Dot audience in Richmond Hill. "More importantly, they have sowed a seed in their own hearts, to ensure everyone's right to a healthy environment to future generations."

October 8, 2014

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