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WIN! Kingston recognizes water as a human right

The Council of Canadians congratulates the municipality of Kingston for voting to recognize water and sanitation as a human right last night.

The city of Kingston was approached by 12-year-old Robyn Hamlyn who was so moved by the movie Blue Gold, based on Maude Barlow’s book by the same name, that she was inspired to take action.

“We are tremendously moved by the resolve of young people like Robyn to address a crisis that will deeply impact their generation,” says Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians.

In her deputation to City Council last night, Robyn stated: “Because Canada is a water rich country we tend to take our water for granted and we use up water faster than it can be replenished through natural systems. Just around the Great Lakes, we pump almost 3.2 trillion litres of water a day. 7.6 billion litres do not get returned.”

She then urged the city to make a difference by taking the necessary steps to become a Blue Community.

Launched by the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Union of Public Employees in 2009, the Blue Communities Project calls on municipalities to adopt a commons framework by passing resolutions to recognize water as a human right, ban the sale of bottled water in public facilities and promote publicly owned and operated water and sanitation services.

With last night’s vote on the right to water and an existing ban on the sale of bottled water, we look forward to Kingston to take the next step by passing the resolution promoting public control and ownership of water services.

Kingston is well on its way to joining the ranks of other municipalities that have secured a Blue Communities designation including Burnaby, Victoria and Tiny Township in Simcoe County.

With last night’s victory, Robyn is eager to promote the campaign across the province and across the country.

To learn more about the Blue Communities Project and find out how you can get involved in your community, please go to: