This morning Council of Canadians national water campaigner Meera Karunananthan – along with representatives from MiningWatch Canada and the Sierra Club of Canada – met with the Liberal water caucus in the Centre Block on Parliament Hill.
In attendance were Francis Scarpaleggia, Frank Valeriote, Ken Dryden, Stephane Dion and nine other Liberal MPs.
The discussion focused on the impact of Schedule 2, which allows the dumping of mine waste into freshwater lakes across Canada. Meera highlighted that this affects the future of both Sandy Pond in Newfoundland and Fish Lake in British Columbia.
The discussion emphasized the need for a parliamentary strategy to end Schedule 2, to enact a a much-needed national water policy, to begin a review of the Fisheries Act, and to recognize the public trust doctrine.
After the meeting, we also raised the issues of Harper identifying access to clean water as a priority for the G20 summit, their cutting of funding to the long-standing GEMS program, and their refusal to recognize water as a human right at the UN.
The meeting ended with no firm promises or commitments from the Liberals. We will continue to apply pressure to all parties on this issue.