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5 chapters to host Maude Barlow tour in British Columbia

The Council of Canadians Comox Valley, Mid Island, Victoria, Williams Lake and Kamloops chapters will be hosting Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow for a five-community Boiling Point tour next month.

Barlow will be in Comox (April 6), Nanaimo (April 7), Victoria (April 8), Williams Lake (April 10), and Kamloops (April 11).

Barlow will be speaking about her most recent book Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis at these public meetings.

She says, “My book is a cry from the heart. It is time to abandon our erroneous beliefs that Canada has unlimited supplies of water, that Canadians have taken care of this water heritage 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. The path forward is clear, if not simple.”

While in Williams Lake, Barlow will be marking the 10th anniversary of the chapter. Significantly, the chapter was an intervenor in the the precedent setting decision by the Supreme Court of Canada acknowledging Indigenous title to more than 1,700 square kilometres of land to the Tsilhqot’in Nation in British Columbia.

And while in Kamloops, Barlow will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the chapter and highlight its opposition to both the 890,000 barrel per day Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline and the KGHM Ajax Mining Inc. copper and gold mine.

The pipeline threatens the South Thompson River in Kamloops which is the southern branch of the Thompson River, the largest tributary of the Fraser River. And while the South Thompson River is one of the few rivers listed in the Navigation Protection Act, the tributaries that feed into (such as Peterson Creek) are not.

The Ajax mine would be located near Jacko Lake and the associated rerouting of Peterson Creek and the tailings pond could destroy nearby Inks Lake.

Barlow’s speaking tour is happening in the lead-up to the pivotal and close May 9 provincial election in British Columbia.

A recent market-based poll projected that the Liberals would win 42 seats on election night, that the NDP would win 40, and the Green Party 5 seats.

And while the undecided vote is high at 25 per cent, the CBC has reported, “The NDP has been polling at between 37 and 39 per cent over the last three polls, compared to a range of 33 to 37 per cent for the Liberals, 13 to 17 per cent for the Greens and 10 to 13 per cent for the B.C. Conservatives.”

Key election issues include Liberal Premier Christy Clark’s support for water-destructive projects such as the Trans Mountain pipeline, the Site C dam on the Peace River, the New Prosperity mine at Teztan Biny, and the Pacific NorthWest and Woodfibre liquefied natural gas projects.