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Barlow talks water in five BC communities in lead-up to May 9 provincial election

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow will be speaking in five communities in British Columbia this coming April 6-11:

  • Comox – April 6

  • Nanaimo – April 7

  • Victoria – April 8

  • Williams Lake – April 10

  • 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.”

A Council of Canadians chapter will be hosting Barlow in each of these communities. Barlow says, “Right across the country, tireless environmentalists, public sector workers and First Nations and community activists work day after day to protect water and local community rights. A special shout-out to our chapters right across Canada, whose members give so freely of their time and talent.”

While in Williams Lake, Barlow will be marking the 10th anniversary of the chapter. Among the many activities and accomplishments of the chapter, it was an intervenor in the the precedent setting 8-0 unanimous decision by the Supreme Court of Canada acknowledging aboriginal 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 Trans Mountain 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 chapter says that every lake and every river must be relisted in a restored and enhanced Navigable Waters Protection Act.

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. The company is proposing that a massive pit be dug beside Jacko Lake that would be many times bigger than the lake itself. The mine would be partially located within Kamloops’ south east city limits. Yesterday, the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc, Tk’emlups and Skeetchestn nations stated their opposition to the mine.

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

A public opinion poll released on March 1 found that the NDP is currently in the lead with 30 per cent of the popular vote, the governing Liberals are at 25 per cent, the Greens at 11 per cent, the Conservatives at 10 per cent, while 24 per cent remain undecided.

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.