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Thunder Bay chapter seeks blue community designation for their city

The Chronicle Journal reports, “Janice Horgos, chairwoman of the Thunder Bay Council of Canadians’ blue planet committee, said the committee’s job is to promote ‘the human right to water and the protection of our lakes and waterways.’ Horgos said the committee has asked the city to make Thunder Bay a blue community. ‘That involves recognizing the human right to water, promoting publicly financed owned and operated water and wastewater services, and banning bottled water in municipal facilities and at municipal events,’ she said.”

On March 5, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow wrote Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs. In her letter, she stated, “Following the presentation by the Thunder Bay chapter of the Council of Canadians on Monday, March 3, 2014, I am excited to provide this letter of support to their work in making Thunder Bay the next Blue Community…. During the 2012 Great Lakes Need Great Friends public form in Thunder Bay, I was incredibly moved by the active community who are standing up to protect the waters of the Great Lakes. Lake Superior is the cleanest of the lakes and we must do all that we can to protect it. Becoming a Blue Community is a simple but strong step towards protecting the Great Lakes as a lived commons to be shared, protected, carefully managed and enjoyed by all who live around them.”

Thunder Bay, OntarioHobbs comments in today’s news article, “We are looking at becoming a blue community… we are going to think long and hard on it for sure, but we have a great water treatment plant… we put a lot of money into that and we have some of the nicest, finest drinking water in the world.” He has also been critical of the 600 billion litres of water taken for the bottled water industry in the U.S. and says, “It is pretty scary… it would fuel 1.3 million vehicles for a year, just the oil that goes into making those bottles.”

There are now are six municipalities recognized as blue communities in Ontario (Thorold, St. Catharines, Welland, Niagara Falls, Ajax and Tiny Township), five in British Columbia (Comox, Cumberland, Nanaimo, North Vancouver, Victoria and Burnaby) and one in Quebec (Amqui). The Union of British Columbia Municipalities has also passed a blue communities resolution. Internationally, Bern, Switzerland, the University of Bern, and the Evangelical-Reformed Congregation Bern-Johannes Church have all been recognized as blue communities. Learn more about the Blue Communities Project.

The Thunder Bay chapter is also partnering with EcoSuperior, the Lake Superior Remedial Action Plan, and the Earth Care water working group for Water Week activities that started yesterday.

Photo: Thunder Bay, Ontario.