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On the Road This Fall

I want to tell you about the incredible fall coming up for me and my work with the Council. 

This week, I am in Quito, Ecuador. It is the 10th anniversary of the Global Alliance on the Rights of Nature. I am on the executive committee. The symposium will be followed by a round-table of about 35 invited participants to plan next steps in our movement.

This issue, the rights of nature or Mother Earth, is being raised more and more by Indigenous allies here in Canada and by many of our chapter members and I am keen for us to address it more. 

In October, I travel to Europe with stops that include Rome, for a big anti-CETA event with Sujata Dey, our trade campaigner (Italy is the only country still holding out against the deal); Zurich, to take part in a public event and press conference against a planned privatization of their water services; then celebrations of three German cities becoming Blue Communities: Berlin, Augsburg and Munich. This is a huge deal for the Blue Planet Project and will get a lot of media in Germany.

Then in November, the Blue Planet Project is getting a lovely award from the city of Barcelona and Meera Karunananthan, International Water Campaigner and I will attend a ceremony honouring us along with Eau de Paris, the public water company in Paris that took back its water under public management and fiercely protects it. 

In December, I have been asked to be part of the Nobel Prize week in Stockholm. Every year, when the Nobels (all but the Peace Prize) are awarded, they choose a theme. Last year, the theme centred on migrants and refugees, the year before, it was climate change. This year it is called “Water Matters” and they have invited several people from around the world ­– including me – to come and take part. Over 1,000 people attend and it is live-streamed. I also attend other activities, including a concert at the opera house and the actual award ceremony and dinner. A very lovely honour that reflects on our collective work over the years. 

This is, of course, on top of work we are all doing here in Canada – but I want you all to know how our work is spreading around the world. In fact, as I write this, Meera is in Cape-town South Africa, working with Koni, our staff person there, to put the regional water crisis on the South African national political agenda through a series of roundtables. It’s incredible work.

And of course our work here in Canada stays intense – from fighting offshore drilling off Nova Scotia, the dreadful new right wing government in Ontario, pipelines such a Line 3 and Kinder Morgan, and bad trade deals such as TPP and NAFTA to promoting democracy through our challenge on voter registration, promoting pharmacare, campaigning for a national water plan with a concentration on the First Nations water crisis, and promoting Blue Communities across the country to protect water as a public trust.

This is a crucial time in history and we are making a difference. Thank you to our dedicated chapters for their inspiring work across the country and to all of our wonderful supporters. All of this is possible because of you. I will represent you internationally with pride.

Maude will provide regular updates of her international travels – stay tuned for more!