The Kingston Whig-Standard reports, “Droughts, pollution and extreme weather were some of the topics discussed at the Water Justice 2017 conference on Saturday [April 8] in Collins Bay. The conference was held at St. Peter’s Anglican Church and hosted by the Anglican Dioceses’ Green Group. Those in attendance watched the webcasts from Maude Barlow, an author and water activist on the Council of Canadians, and Katherine Hayhoe, an author, climate scientist and director of the Climate Science Centre at Texas Tech University.”
Barlow spoke on March 23 from Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City on ‘Water: Commons or Commodity?’.
Local organizer Mary Raddon says, “This year it’s all about water: water justice. …We’re concerned about the Great Lakes, that’s pretty local. We have a perceived abundance of water. But last year, Lake Ontario went down about 18 inches. I watched in the harbour as the water went down, down, down. …We had that drought last year in eastern Ontario that’s affecting farmers and people on private wells. [We’re discussing] how will be manage the resource that we have to ensure everyone has access.”
Fellow organizer Mary Wooding notes, “The breakout sessions are sort of inspired discussions. We’ve provided some questions and they’ve broken into groups and they’re actually having some really interesting discussions about their concerns about water. [The point of this exercise was] not just to sit around and learn new things, but to actually do something about it. We’re going to be signing a petition to the Ontario government asking that they keep in mind water justice and the right for all to have access to safe and plentiful drinking water, and water in general.”
The article adds, “Global water justice issues discussed included commodification of water by large bottling companies and the right for everyone to have access no matter where they live. They also talked about extraction, fracking and pollution.”
And it notes, “Postcards were also sent to the federal government informing them of the action the participants are taking to protect and conserve water and what they hope the government will be in response.”
Barlow will also be speaking on the human right to water and our blue communities campaign at the upcoming Canadian Religious Conference meeting on June 6-8 in Toronto.
Kitchener-Waterloo chapter tables during local live-stream of Barlow speech from New York (March 2017)