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Winnipeg chapter joins ‘paint night’ call to protect every lake, every river

Council of Canadians Winnipeg chapter activist Ken Harasym joined the ‘paint night’ event in Winnipeg on September 23.

In terms of political context, in 2012 the Harper government gutted the former Navigable Waters Protection Act through omnibus bills. C-38 removed pipelines and power lines from provisions of the Navigable Waters Protect Act while C-45 significantly reduced the Act’s scope over waterways. As a result, major pipelines and inter-provincial 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 outreach for ‘paint night’ highlighted, “Tap into your creative side to protect water! Join us for a fun evening to create your own painting of a lake or river you want protected. With local artists Sarah Thiessen and Jeanine Saurette. Each person will have the chance to create a painting of a lake or river we want protected. Take the painting home or write a personal message of why water is important to you and deliver it to a Member of Parliament to encourage stronger regulations on water. The community art workshop is suitable for beginners.”

Winnipeg-based Council of Canadians organizer Brigette DePape tells us, “We had a great paint night! We had 25 people come, which was our cap given the space and canvasses. It was fantastic to see our Winnipeg chapter participate and people from all generations. The artists Jeanine and Sarah did a great job of guiding people in painting. Whitney, a student from the University of Winnipeg, did a great job at co-organizing. She also did a great job when we co-presented on the water campaign.”

And DePape highlights, “We painted a picture of the beautiful Bloodvein River in Manitoba, which is one of the many rivers that is unprotected. We gave people the choice to either take their paintings home or donate the painting for the delivery and most people chose to donate the painting.”

More on how these paintings will be delivered to two Members of Parliament with ridings in Winnipeg soon!

Our Every Lake, Every River petition says that the protections that were cut from the Act must be fully restored; all lakes, rivers and waterways must be protected; strict safeguards for waterways must be implemented within the framework of the United Nations-recognized human right to water; water sustainability and water justice must be at the heart of all policy and practice so that water no longer takes the back seat to other interests and priorities; and much more.

To sign our Every Lake, Every River petition, please click here.