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NEWS: Barlow speaks at Queen’s University

The Kingston Whig-Standard reports that, “Queen’s University formally announced that it was eliminating plastic water bottles on campus this weekend, and veteran activist Maude Barlow was on hand to lead the applause. Barlow’s latest crusade paired her (on stage at an auditorium at Queen’s University on Saturday) with veteran Globe and Mail science writer turned freelance journalist Alanna Mitchell for a three-hour conference on threats to the world’s oceans.”

“Outside the well-attended seminars were piled clear garbage bags containing thousands of empty plastic bottles grabbed out of trash across campus on Friday and a sign saying they would take centuries to dispose. Queen’s signed an exclusive beverage deal with Coca Cola several years ago that gave the soft drink giant precedence on campus, and its own brand of bottled water is a big seller in vending machines and cafeterias. But that deal is expiring next year (on August 31, 2012) and when it is renegotiated, either with Coke or some other multinational, it will exclude bottled water.”

“Barlow could not praise Queen’s enough, saying other campuses had blazed the trail but having the Kingston university throw its institutional weight into the campaign was something special. ‘The main reason we held this water summit today was to coincide with Queen’s decision and to support them in it,’ said the perennial left-wing gadfly, who has been fomenting populist support for the Canadian causes she champions for decades. ‘What we’re asking people to do is change their own behaviour at the individual level because that’s the only change that matters.’ …(And) Barlow said it is the universal and democratic nature of the sea, which affects every single living being on earth, that gives her latest campaign meaning among ordinary people. ‘No matter where you live on earth, no matter how far away from the sea you are, the sea affects your whole life.'”

An earlier blog in advance of Maude’s visit to Queen’s can be read at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=6262.

The Kingston Whig-Standard article is at http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2965321.