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LETTER: Council of Canadians responds to Chris Wood

Re: Water in Canada in long-term decline, Opinion, May 16

Chris Wood writes that a new water security report by the Forum for Leadership on Water “should prompt a rethink of the familiar trope.” And while he lists issues the Council of Canadians has highlighted as concerns — “a changing climate, growing human demands, water-borne complex chemicals” — he bizarrely adds, “The real threats to the safety and sufficiency of our water demand a more sophisticated response than the human rights nostrums advocated by the xenophobic and anti-business Council of Canadians.”

By “human rights nostrums” we presume Wood is referring to our backing of the United Nations General Assembly recognition of the human right to water and sanitation (a human right the Harper government fails to respect and implement). “Xenophobic” is a harder one to figure out, but perhaps the next time our chairperson Maude Barlow chairs a board meeting of the U.S.-based group Food & Water Watch, she can pose that question to them. And Wood’s framing of our work against excessive corporate power undermining democratic institutions as “anti-business” may be more revealing of him than it is of us.

Let’s hope this letter prompts Wood to rethink his familiar trope.

Brent Patterson, Political Director, The Council of Canadians, Ottawa