Happy World Water Day!
World Water Day celebrations kicked off on Sunday in Vancouver with an award ceremony organized by CUPE and the local Vancouver/Burnaby Council of Canadians chapter for water heroes and rogues. The New Westminster School Board received a “Tappie” award for its recent ban on bottled water which includes an educational component to teach children about public water. Trustee Laurie Watt, who received the award on behalf of the board praised Council of Canadians chapter activist Andrew Murray and the local chapters whose efforts led to the victory.
The Mayor of Burnaby, Derek Corrigan collected the award on behalf of Metro Vancouver for its ban on bottled water. He told the crowd at Grandview Park, where the event took place, that municipalities are going to be facing a battle to protect water services against agreements like the CUPA and CETA, which put Canadian municipal water and sanitation services up for grabs for private sector investors. Read more about the Buy American ‘deal’ and the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) at: http://canadians.org/trade/index.html
Council of Canadians treasurer Bob Ages picked up an award granted to the Whistler Water Watch Coalition for its victory on stopping the privatization of a wastewater sewage treatment plant and ongoing efforts to protect water resources and services. He called on the audience to join the campaign to have water recognized as a human right. “Crappy” awards were granted to BC Premier Gordon Campbell who is pushing a privatization agenda onto BC municipalities seeking provincial funding, Coca Cola and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Throughout the week World Water Day celebrations will continue. Council of Canadian chapters will be celebrating water victories and raising awareness on upcoming challenges for the water justice movement. From Victoria to St. John’s chapters are taking action by ensuring municipalities say no to privatization, showing water related movies in their communities – including watching the premiere of Water On The Table, a new documentary featuring Maude Barlow, pushing for bottled water bans and encouraging provincial legislation to recognize the right to water. In Newfoundland, the Sandy Pond Alliance, which includes the Council of Canadians Mining Watch, the Sierra Club and a local activists, announced its intent to launch a legal challenge today against Schedule 2, the regulatory loophole in the Metal Mining Effluent Regulation of the Fisheries Act, which allows for metal mining companies to apply to use lakes as toxic tailings ponds. To read our press release, go to http://canadians.org/media/water/2010/22-Mar-10.html
This morning in Ottawa, the Council of Canadians delivered 56 000 petitions to Prime Minister Stephen Harper calling for a National Water Policy that bans bulk water exports and protects Canada’s fresh water resources. See http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=3098 for photos of the petition drop off.
In Fish Lake today, the CoC will join the Tsilhqot’in National Government, the Wilderness Committee and several other groups at a rally being held at the opening of the federal public hearings on a proposal by Vancouver-based Taseko Mines Limited to destroy the Teztan Biny watershed by dumping mine waste into it. For more information see: http://canadians.org/water/issues/TIAs/teztan-biny.html
You can take action! 1) Click: http://canadians.org/water/issues/World_Water_Day/actions.html to see if there is an event in your community.
2 Take action for a national water policy! http://canadians.org/water/issues/policy/index.html
3) And sign our tap water pledge: http://canadians.org/water/issues/World_Water_Day/petition/index.php
Thanks and Happy World Water Day!
Blog post written by Meera Karunananthan, National Water Campaigner, Council of Canadians and Carleen Pickard, former Director of Organizing, Council of Canadians