March 24, 2017

TMX external relations manager Lexa Hobenshield

Texas-based Kinder Morgan held a community meeting in Hope, British Columbia about the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline.

The Hope Standard reports that Trans Mountain Expansion Project external relations manager Lexa Hobenshield says that tree removal and site preparation along the route will begin in the fall, pipeline construction will begin in January 2018 (though she doesn't know when construction on the Hope segment will begin), the construction will be done by the end of 2019, and that the pipeline will go into service "shortly after that".

The article highlights, "Hobenshield said they have had less than 85 spills through 60 years and the number of spills over time have decreased."

March 23, 2017
The Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities tabled long-awaited recommendations on the Navigation Protection Act, formerly the Navigable Waters Protection Act today. Despite being the day after World Water Day, the recommendations fail to recognize the importance of water. The first recommendation advises that protections be kept off of the 99% of lakes and rivers, encouraging the federal government to abandon its responsibilities to protect waterways and communities’ right to navigate.
As Ecojustice notes in its submission, “The public trust doctrine is a legal concept that holds that certain natural resources are so crucial that they cannot be privately owned and are instead held by the government in trust for the benefit of the public and future generations...Public rights such as navigation are central to the public trust doctrine.” 
March 23, 2017

Toronto-area Liberal MP Judy Sgro chaired the Standing Committee that failed to restore protections for lakes and rivers.

In 2012, Stephen Harper's Conservative government decimated the Navigable Waters Protection Act by removing federal oversight on pipelines and power lines from it and by reducing its scope to just 159 lakes and rivers, leaving more than 31,000 lakes and 2.25 million rivers without federal scrutiny.

During the October 2015 federal election, the Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party criticized the Harper government's "elimination of the Navigable Waters Protection Act" and specifically promised to "review these changes, restore lost protections, and incorporate more modern safeguards".

Now, 17 months after being sworn into office, the Liberal-dominated Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities have made their recommendations on the Act - which clearly fail to restore lost protections, and incorporate more modern safeguards as had been promised.

March 23, 2017

The South Shore chapter's display table at the film screening.

The Council of Canadians South Shore chapter screened the documentary Water on the Table on World Water Day in Mahone Bay.

The chapter tells us, "More than 50 people came out to watch the film. The evening opened with a member of the local Mi’kmaq community welcoming everyone to unceded Mi’kmaq territory. During the break, participants had a chance to take part in a water taste test (town water, rural well water, bottled water), make a tap water pledge, pick up a chart to track home water usage, and check out displays from Council of Canadians, CUPE and CPONS (Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia)."

March 23, 2017

MaudeToday, I am honoured to present at the Water Justice global conference hosted by Trinity Institute in New York City and webcast all over the world.

Economist Richard Sandor, the “father” of carbon trading, predicts the near-term launch of a global water futures market. He says water will replace oil as the number one commodity of the 21st century and that it will be bought, sold and traded on the open market.

Sandor is not alone. In business schools across the world, students are taught that the solution to the global water crisis is to commodify water and let the market settle who gets water and how.