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Chapter activist calls on Canada to follow California on right to water

Chapter activist Paulette Hagel writes in the Salmon Arm Observer that, “For a decade, large corporations like EPCOR and Bechtel, plus many others, have taken over the delivery of, and access to, clean water for profit, in many parts of the world. This has caused millions of people unable to pay for water that they previously considered their birth right. This is privatization of a necessary life resource. Those that can afford it get all the water they want. Some cannot afford to pay for the water they need and have few choices. Often the only water that is available to them is unclean and unsafe. In other words, the poor are forced to pay for water so that large foreign corporations make huge profits.”

She adds, “Maude Barlow, National Chair of the Council of Canadians and Water Advisor to the President of the UN, has for years, declared water a basic human right and part of ‘The Commons,’ it belongs to all of us. Recently Canada and the USA again refused to establish water as a basic human right at the UN. On May 28, 2009, the California State Assembly voted to approve the ‘Human Right to Water Act of 2009.’ This is the first of its kind in the US. This act has clear guarantees ‘that every human being has the right to clean, affordable, and accessible water on an equitable basis’.”

Paulette concludes, “Cheers to California! We hope Canada and B.C. are watching.”

To read her letter to the editor, please go to http://www.bclocalnews.com/bc_thompson_nicola/salmonarmobserver/opinion/letters/48950361.html.