February 25, 2017

In the film Bottled Life: The Truth about Nestlé's Business with Water, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow says, "They're after profit. They're predators. Water hunters looking for the last pure water in the world."

Nineteen Council of Canadians chapters are mobilizing for actions around World Water Day, which is on March 22.

So far, those chapters are:

February 24, 2017

The Council of Canadians South Shore, Quill Plains (Wynyard), South Niagara, Sudbury, Edmonton, Brandon, and PEI chapters joined a webinar this afternoon on "Rights to Fight with - Stopping Water Privatization at the Source" with Blue Planet Project director Meera Karunananthan.

Karunananthan began by noting that human rights instruments can serve as a tool for profound, even revolutionary change.

She cited the example of how the Kalahari people in Botswana argued the United Nations recognition of the human right to water and sanitation in a precedent setting case before the Botswana Court of Appeal in 2011. After diamonds were discovered in the late 1980s, the Kalahari were cleared from their lands. Although they were allowed to return in 2006, they were denied access to a borehole, their main source of water. The Botswana Court of Appeal upheld their right to water by quashing a 2010 decision that denied them access to a borehole on their ancestral lands.

February 24, 2017

Photo by Torrance Coste.

The Council of Canadians Victoria chapter helped screen the documentary To the Ends of the Earth last night.

The outreach for the screening highlighted, "Join Council of Canadians, Sierra Club BC and Wilderness Committee for the Vancouver Island premiere of To the Ends of the Earth, an award-winning documentary about extreme energy by Vancouver-based filmmaker David Lavallee."

It added, "Following the film, a panel discussion and Q+A with David, Caitlyn Vernon (Sierra Club BC) and Torrance Coste (Wilderness Committee) will be moderated by Emi Belliveau. This event is being held on the unceded territories of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations."

Chapter activist Ted Woynillowicz tells us, "The evening went well, about 70 people showed and tonight David is taking it to Nanaimo."

February 24, 2017

A founding member and long-standing secretary-treasurer of the Inverness County chapter Candy Mudge passed away earlier this month.

As the local paper, the Oran printed earlier this week, she was originally from Illinois but had spent the majority of the past 46 years in Glencoe Mills (now known as Glenville), Inverness County. "She was a political and environmental activist who fought tirelessly against the budworm spray (late 1970s) and against fracking in Inverness County (201-2014)."

I personally had the honour of working with Candy and others from the chapter and community during the fracking fight at Lake Ainslie, and Candy was at everything to protect her area from fracking.

February 24, 2017

The Council of Canadians London chapter took part in a protest against the privatization of Hydro One at the Wellington Road 401 Overpass this past Family Day holiday, Monday February 20.

The Facebook outreach noted, "There will be a large banner, balloons and Keep Hydro Public signs for people to hold. Please feel free to bring signs of your own."

In October 2015, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne confirmed that 60 per cent of Hydro One, the publicly-owned provincial electrical transmission and distribution utility, would be sold to raise $9 billion to pay down the provincial debt and to fund public transit and infrastructure projects.

Shares in the utility first went on sale in November 2015. As of December 2016, the provincial Liberal government had sold about 30 per cent of the shares in Hydro One and had raised about $3.8 billion.