June 30, 2015

In May, the International Joint Commission (IJC) released the draft Ten Year Review of the International Joint Commission’s Report on “Protection of the Waters of the Great Lakes.” Ralph Pentland, President of Ralbet Enterprises, and Dr. Alex Mayer, Professor of Environmental and Geological Engineering at Michigan Technological University, authors of the report, give a very thorough review of advancements and what is happening around the Great Lakes Basin.

Photo courtesy of myheimu/Creative Commons.

The IJC created a process to invite public comment to the draft report that looks at advances and issues related to consumptive use, legal and policy considerations, diversions and other removals, water use data, cumulative impacts, climate change, groundwater and conservation.

The recommendations in the report which include:

RECOMMENDATION 1: The existing Agreement and Compact should continue to be rigorously implemented to minimize loss of water from the Basin.

June 30, 2015
Credit: All rights reserved.
Credit: All rights reserved.

“There is no place on earth that can be safe, secure or healthy in a world that is running out of water.”

On April 1, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown ordered officials to impose mandatory water restrictions in his drought stricken state for the first time in history. The news was carried around the world.  “Climate change” was named as the culprit — and it is. 

June 29, 2015

On June 25, the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment voted in support of the human right to water and sanitation.

Our ally Food & Water Europe states in a media release that, among various measures the Committee, "Considers it imperative that production, distribution and treatment of water and sanitation are excluded from any trade agreements, including TTIP [the United States-European Union Trade and Investment Partnership] and TISA [the Trade in Services Agreement now being negotiated on the sidelines of the World Trade Organization by a group of 23 governments representing 50 countries, including the European Union, Canada and the United States]."

How would a 'trade' agreement like the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) impact on water?

June 29, 2015

The NDP government in Alberta appears to be supporting both the TransCanada Energy East and Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipelines.

The Calgary Herald reports, "Premier Rachel Notley’s party, elected last month, has taken a much more skeptical stance toward pipelines than the previous Tory government, dropping the province’s lobbying efforts for the controversial Keystone XL and Northern Gateway lines. However, the rookie government has given its seal of approval to TransCanada Corp.’s $12-billion Energy East project... In question period [on June 23], Notley said she had spoken earlier this week to [New Brunswick premier Brian] Gallant about the two provinces’ 'common interest' around Energy East."

June 28, 2015

London chapter

The Council of Canadians London chapter recently participated in a regional day of action protest against health care cuts and privatization.

CTV reports, "About 200 people gathered to demand an end to health care cuts outside MPP Deb Matthews' office on Piccadilly Street Friday afternoon." AM 980 adds, "Demonstrators brought signs, balloons, sang songs and chanted despite Matthews not being there to witness the event. The rally, led by the Ontario Health Coalition, is in response to cuts being made by the Liberal government, which is having a detrimental effect on London’s hospitals."