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Kitchener-Waterloo chapter tables during local live-stream of Barlow speech from New York

Photo by Susan Sparks

The Council of Canadians Kitchener-Waterloo chapter had an information table at the Renison Ministry Centre/ Renison University College on the University of Waterloo campus during a live-stream presentation of Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow speaking from the Trinity Institute Water Justice conference in New York City.

The Trinity Institute had noted, “Water Justice, a global conference held in New York City and webcast all over the world. With a sharp focus on the need for water justice initiatives in areas of access, droughts, pollution, rising tides, and flooding, Trinity Institute aims to offer actionable guidance for individuals, congregations, and the larger faith community surrounding these issues.”

For those in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, Trinity Institute at Renison 2017 organized a gathering in which people could, “listen to the speakers, ask panelists questions via email, and reflect in our own small groups about local water issues and actions.”

Barlow spoke on March 23 at 9:30 am from Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City on “Water: Commons or Commodity?”

The conference schedule noted, “The United Nations has declared water as a human right. Global markets regard it as a commodity. Can a fresh approach to market capitalism serve the common good, or does the world need a new and different system of exchange Opening Talk: Maude Barlow, international water justice advocate and best-selling author. Response: Christiana Peppard, theologian Fordham University and author. After introductory talk and response, a diverse group of storytellers from around their world will describe how they experience the water crisis in their contexts.”

In her speech, Barlow stated, “If we accept the argument that the best way to deal with this crisis is to take water into the market economy and sell it like oil and gas, we move the care and protection of water out of the hands of people and their governments and into the hands of private capital where the profit motive must take precedence.”

She also highlighted, “People and their governments around the world are taking water back into public hands. Many municipalities are becoming ‘Blue Communities’ where they pledge to recognize water as a human right, maintain their water services under public control and promote tap water over bottled water where clean tap water is available.”

To read Barlow’s full speech, please click here.

The video of her 22-minute speech can now be watched here.