Photo: You brought Canada's human rights performance to the world's attention

British Columbians shared their ideas, hopes, fears, and questions during the Celebrating Coastal Connections tour. (Photo credit: Panos Grames)

Thanks to you, coastal British Columbians' voices were heard in Geneva in February, as the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights reviewed Canada's human rights record.

And the committee listened! "The committee agreed with us that stronger environmental protections are essential to safeguard our human rights," said Jay Ritchlin, Foundation director for Western Canada.

The Foundation's submission linked Canada's failure to meet international human rights obligations to reduced environmental regulations and oversight. It was based on more than 1,500 written, oral and video stories collected from 12 coastal B.C. communities, including 12 First Nations, during our June 2015 Celebrating Coastal Connections tour.

The committee pointed to Canada's weakened environmental regulations, asked why it's not doing more on oceans protection and climate change, and advised our country to improve environmental protections and transition our economy away from damaging fossil fuel production toward cleaner and safer sources of energy.

They also agreed with coastal residents' observations that climate change and ecosystem degradation affect their culture, food and water, and called for meaningful participation of Indigenous peoples in decision-making related to development projects on or near their lands.