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400 people at ‘Boiling Point’ book event in Toronto

Photo by Ashley Ashbee.

More than 400 people gathered at Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church on Bloor Street in Toronto yesterday evening to hear Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and singer-activist Sarah Harmer. The evening was moderated by Council of Canadians Toronto chapter activist Tara Seucharan.

Barlow is currently on a 14-city tour to promote her book Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis, and campaigns to Boycott Nestle to stop the transnational profiting from water, and another calling on the Trudeau government to restore protections for Every Lake, Every River in Canada.

In Boiling Point, Barlow writes, “The water crisis is at our door here in Canada. All the issues we thought so far away are upon us now. It is time to abandon our false beliefs that Canada has unlimited supplies of water, that Canadians have taken care of this water heritage and one another or that we still have lots of time to do so. We need a strong, national plan of action based on a new water ethic that puts water protection and water justice at the heart of all our policies and laws.”

And in a recent interview with Toronto’s NOW Magazine, she highlights, “[While the Trudeau government may be better than the Harper government], the problem is that Harper gutted so much [the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the Fisheries Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act]. We have no protection for 99 per cent of the lakes and rivers these pipelines, Energy East and Trans-Mountain, would cross. The government has launched consultations on acts the Harper regime gutted. But there’s pressure from the mining, construction and energy industries for the feds to come up with compromises. We have a real fight on our hands.”

She also warns, “Under CETA, municipalities like Regina that were forced into public-private partnerships [in Regina’s case, to finance its water treatment plant] would now not be allowed to change their minds. If Alberta were to say to oil companies that they’re using too much water and bring in a law to cut water use in half, foreign companies protected by NAFTA, CETA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership would all have the right to sue for financial compensation. There’s a huge investor-state challenge under NAFTA against the -Canadian government [by Lone Pine Resources Inc. for $118.9 million] because Quebec placed a moratorium on fracking in a delicate area of the St. Lawrence. That’s a Canadian company that used its American subsidiary to challenge the ruling.”

To date, 350 people gathered in Ottawa for the book launch on September 20, a standing-room only audience of 80 people were in Kingston on September 21, 350 people packed a church hall in Guelph on September 22, and 400 people assembled last night for the event in Toronto. The book tour will next be in Vancouver (September 29), Calgary (September 30), Belleville (October 3), St. John’s (October 14-16), Saskatoon (October 18), Windsor (November 2), Barrie (November 7), Halifax (November 10), Chilliwack (November 21) and Winnipeg (November 24).

To order your book directly from the publisher, please click here.