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LETTER: Writer quotes Barlow against BC water markets

Lyle Fenton of Squamish writes in a letter to the editor in the Squamish Chief today that, “The provincial government is up to its same old tricks, pulling a fast one to privatize our B.C. water. …In late December, the B.C. government posted the ‘proposed framework’ for new water laws that introduces water rights trading (section 5). This approach neglects the need for good governance and views markets as a solution that solves all problems.”

“To a similar proposal by the Alberta government, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow commented ‘letting the market decide who will have access to water violates the public trust doctrine, a principle of common law which regards water as belonging equally to all peoples and managed by government on their behalf. If this proposal goes forward, you can pretty much write off any chance of ever meaningfully recognizing a human right to water or a public trust over water.'”

Fenton notes, “The website http://www.vancouverislandwaterwatch.ca has posted information. Before the Feb. 21 deadline, you can comment on the government web page at http://blog.gov.bc.ca/livingwatersmart/2010/12/17/policy-proposal-on-british-columbia%E2%80%99s-new-water-sustainability-act-released/.”

For more on the BC and Alberta water market plans, go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=6177.

Mr. Fenton’s letter is at http://www.squamishchief.com/article/20110211/SQUAMISH0303/302119956/-1/squamish/don-t-privatize-bc-s-water.