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Sudbury chapter collects water from Tilton Lake for PM Trudeau

Sudbury chapter

The Sudbury chapter collected water from Tilton Lake to send to Justin Trudeau.

The Council of Canadians Sudbury chapter has collected water from Tilton Lake to send to Justin Trudeau.

Sudbury chapter activist André Clement writes, “Tilton Lake has been recovered from years of previous mining and smelting that polluted many lakes surrounding Sudbury. The need to protect the lake reflects the plight of Canada’s waters that have been stripped of protection by the Conservative government. Protecting Canada’s waters is a long term need and initiative that must be maintained to confront the competing interests of greed and the pursuit of profit that do not consider the impact of industry that is destroying the health of Canada’s environment.”

The jar of water collected by the Sudbury chapter will be part of an upcoming ‘climate welcome’ action at 24 Sussex Drive, the Prime Minister’s official residence in Ottawa. On Nov. 7, activists will attempt to present this water to Prime Minister Trudeau. To date, five chapters have collected water to be presented on this day. Our London chapter collected water from the Thames River, our Prince Albert chapter collected water from the North Saskatchewan River, our Saint John chapter collected water from the Bay of Fundy, and our Fredericton chapter collected water from the St. John River for this action.

Organizers note that on Nov. 7, “We’ll shine a spotlight on grassroots movements across Canada that have been fighting to defend their communities and our climate from reckless pipeline expansion. The gifts on this day will provide a powerful image of what’s at risk if these pipelines are built. We’re going to do this by providing water samples from the rivers, lakes and coastlines that tar sands pipelines would put at risk, and from water bodies that have already been poisoned as a result of the tar sands.”

Beyond extraction and pipeline spills directly threatening waterways, climate change impacts water bodies and harming water bodies worsens climate change. Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has noted, “Melting glaciers, warming watersheds, and chaotic weather patterns are upsetting the water cycle everywhere. Higher temperatures increase the amount of moisture that evaporates from land and water; a warmer atmosphere then releases more precipitation in areas already prone to flooding and less in areas prone to drought.  But there is little understanding that removing water from water-retentive landscapes affects the climate in dramatic and negative ways too.”

Barlow has also highlighted, “The Harper government killed the Navigable Waters Protection Act, stripping protections from 99 per cent of lakes and rivers in Canada. Major pipelines and interprovincial power lines now have the green light to cross over and under more than 31,000 lakes and 2.25 million rivers without federal scrutiny.”

The Harper government’s C-45 omnibus bill legislation introduced in 2012 replaced the Navigable Waters Protection Act with the Navigation Protection Act. That Act applies to just 62 rivers, 97 lakes and the three oceans, meaning that about 98 per cent of all rivers and lakes in Canada, now have no federal protection. The Liberal platform this election stated, “Stephen Harper’s changes to the Fisheries Act, and his elimination of the Navigable Waters Protection Act, have weakened environmental protections. We will review these changes, restore lost protections, and incorporate more modern safeguards.”

The Sudbury chapter’s gift of a jar of water from Tilton Lake will be a reminder to Prime Minister Trudeau to fulfill that promise.

For more on the ‘Climate Welcome’ days of action, please see their webpage.