Maude Barlow discusses her book 'Boiling Point' with David Suzuki at a public forum in Vancouver, September 29, 2016.
Seventeen Council of Canadians chapters will hand-deliver copies of Maude Barlow's book Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis to their Member of Parliament before the Trudeau government makes its decision on the Navigation Protection Act on or before July 21.
Vancouver-based water campaigner Emma Lui says, "To put pressure on the Trudeau government, we want to organize a mass delivery of copies of Maude’s book Boiling Point to Members of Parliament, highlighting the importance and threats to water and call for water protections to be restored."
So far, the chapters committed to doing this are:
Atlantic - Moncton, Prince Edward Island
Ontario-Quebec- Halton, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Montreal, South Niagara, Northumberland, Peterborough-Kawarthas, Sudbury, Windsor
Prairies-NWT - Brandon-Westman, Regina
Pacific - Cowichan Valley, Kelowna, Mission, Powell River
In her book, Barlow highlights our demand for the restoration and enhancement of the Navigable Waters Protection Act.
In 2012, Stephen Harper's Conservative government decimated the Navigable Waters Protection Act by removing federal oversight on pipelines and power lines from it and by reducing its scope to just 159 lakes and rivers, leaving more than 31,000 lakes and 2.25 million rivers without federal scrutiny.
During the October 2015 federal election, Justin Trudeau criticized the Harper government's "elimination of the Navigable Waters Protection Act" and specifically promised to "review these changes, restore lost protections, and incorporate more modern safeguards".
On March 23, the Liberal-dominated Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities made their recommendations on the Act - which clearly fail to restore lost protections or incorporate more modern safeguards.
Rather than extending protections to all lakes and rivers, it recommends: "That the government maintain the Schedule but rapidly improve the process of adding waterways to the Schedule by making it easily accessible, easy to use and transparent and that a public awareness campaign be put in place to inform stakeholders of the process." Furthermore, the committee weakly recommends, "That the government require that Transport Canada provide reasons why a waterway is or is not added to the schedule."
Barlow comments, "This was an opportunity for the committee and the Trudeau government to show leadership on water protection, and it is deeply disappointing that they have failed to do so. Freshwater protections are crucial to upholding the human right to water. Without protections for all lakes and rivers, Trudeau’s election promises ring hollow.”
Trudeau has until July 21 to respond to the committee's recommendations.
It is our hope that getting Boiling Point into the hands of MPs will mean a more informed decision, one that protects lakes and rivers in Canada.
To assist in this effort, please send Trudeau and Transport Minister Marc Garneau a message via this online action alert Tell Trudeau to keep his water protection promises. Let’s protect every lake and every river!