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Saskatoon chapter builds public support to have their city declared a blue community

The Council of Canadians Saskatoon chapter tabled and distributed materials about our blue communities campaign at a NatureCity Festival public forum at the Roxy Theatre featuring Maude Barlow on May 25.

The outreach for the forum noted, “The keynote evening of the 2017 NatureCity Festival features an evening with Maude Barlow, renowned Canadian author, water activist, former UN Senior Advisor on water and board chair of the Council of Canadians. Join us for an inspiring evening, joined by several guests, as we explore the role of water in our prairie lives. This event is no cost, rush seating.”

Barlow tells us, “I spoke about the water crisis in Canada and in Saskatchewan, highlighted the over extracted South Saskatchewan River, factory farming and the damage of its chemical laden run off, the harmful water poisoning legacy of uranium mining, clearcutting and wetland loss and of course pipeline threats such as the recent Husky spill and the waterways that Energy East would cross.”

She adds, “I promoted Blue Communities and the initiative to have Saskatoon become one. Lots of great response to that!”

A blue community is a municipality that: 1- recognizes water as a human right, 2- bans the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events, 3- promotes publicly financed, owned and operated water and waste water services.

Saskatoon chapter activist Tracey Mitchell notes, “We will soon be sending a letter with this request to the City of Saskatoon Standing Policy Committee on Environment, Utilities and Corporate Services. We have also met with three of the councillors on the committee and we have been in touch with the mayor. It is our hope that the Standing Policy Committee will pass a recommendation that Council will vote in favour of the Blue Communities motions. Our plan is to present to the standing committee on June 12.”

Other chapters are also working to designate eight more municipalities across the country as blue communities: Prince Albert, Brandon, Montreal, Toronto, South Shore, Charlottetown, Stratford, and St. John’s.

There are now 18 blue communities in Canada – Thunder Bay, Bayfield, Tay Township, Thorold, Welland, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Ajax, Tiny Township in Ontario, Amqui in Quebec, District of Lunenburg in Nova Scotia, and Tsal’alh, St’át’imc Territory, Comox, Cumberland, Nanaimo, North Vancouver, Victoria, Burnaby in B.C.

For more information on our blue communities campaign, please click here.