Silver Donald Cameron

D’ESCOUSSE: Silver Donald Cameron, along with his wife Marjorie Simmins and their two Shetland Sheepdogs, MacTarvish and Franki, left home last week to spread the word about good literature, good film, and good causes.

The Cameron-Simmins Family Transcontinental Reading and Screening Tour is now officially on the move.

“We did the first gig from the motor home yesterday,” Cameron told The Reporter on Tuesday of last week.

“Marjorie was signing books in downtown Wolfville, and I did a guest lecture in environmental studies and we screened the film in the evening.”

The film Cameron mentioned is his latest offering, Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World. The documentary is one part of a two-punch combo, as has also released a new book entitled Warrior Lawyers: From Manila to Manhattan, Attorneys for the Earth.

While Cameron is spreading the word about his work, Simmins is touring her second book, Year of the Horse. Simmins’ book is an uplifting story about the author’s love of horses throughout her life, first as a resident of British Columbia and then as a Nova Scotian. It includes a retelling of a very bad accident she suffered on horseback and her recovery, which included teaching herself to walk again.

Cameron’s work is less autobiographical and more so focused on the environment – or, better to say, laws in Canada and the United States relating to the environment.

“The whole reason for the book and the film was to bring home to Canadians that many countries in the world recognize their citizens’ right to a healthy environment,” he said. “Canada does not, and the States does not. Our story details the things that happened in other countries where people go to court and sue the government for failing to recognize their right to a healthy environment.

“This is a novel concept to a lot of people, but it’s one that David Suzuki has been pounding away at for the last few years. Most people look at it and say, ‘Really? We don’t have those rights?’ Then you tell them the kind of damage that’s been stopped in other countries because of it, and they get excited.

“Environmentalism is sometimes doom and gloom, but people are thrilled when they hear about some of the people we’re interviewing.”

Both the film and the book share DNA with Cameron’s on-line project, He serves as host and executive producer of the environmental Web site which is devoted to in-depth conversations with the thinkers and activists who are leading the way to a green, sustainable future.

“You have to join the site to become a member,” he explained. “It’s free for the first month, and you can cancel at any time.

“My hope is that if people like what we’ve done on both these projects, they’ll look at the Web site. That’s the smaller issues. The larger issue is to move in the direction of getting environmental rights in this country. There’s no reason we can’t do it.”

Cameron and Simmins will be in Antigonish today (September 28) with Simmins appearing at Coles for a book signing (noon to 1:30 p.m.) and then appearing at the People’s Place Library for a reading and signing (3 p.m. to 5 p.m.)

Cameron will be appearing at StFX to offer a guest lecture with a reception at the Riley Lounge running from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Later that evening, his film will be screening at the Schwartz Auditorium (7 p.m.) with a reception and refreshments to follow.

The following day, the couple hits the road for Ottawa.