The University of St. Michael’s College and Regis College of the University of Toronto are now formally recognized as Blue Communities. Maude Barlow was the keynote speaker at a special event on April 19th, where the two colleges received the official Blue Community certificate.
They are joining a growing group of universities in Canada, including McGill University and both Huron University College and Brescia University College at Western University, to protect what Pedro Aroyo, UN special rapporteur on the human rights to clean water and sanitation, calls the “blue soul of water.”
There are now 102 Blue Communities designated worldwide, covering a total population of over 25 million people. We are heartened by the growing number of communities, schools, faith-based groups, and other kinds of communities that have adopted principles that treat water as a common good – one that is shared by everyone and the responsibility of all. This burgeoning movement is a force for good against the constant pressure from big business to privatize water infrastructure and commodify water resources.
The Blue Communities Project encourages municipalities and communities to support the idea of a water commons framework by passing resolutions that:
- recognize water and sanitation as human rights;
- ban the sale of bottled water at municipal facilities and events; and
- promote publicly owned and operated water and wastewater services.