Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow launched her 14-city Boiling Point book tour in Ottawa this evening.
About 350 people gathered at the Centretown United Church at Bank Street and Argyle Avenue to hear Barlow highlight the multitude of threats against water and the need to pressure all levels of governments to implement the protections needed to safeguard this human right and essential element of life and nature.
Metro News reports, "Canadian activist and writer Maude Barlow says Ottawa – as a symbol for the rest of the country – ought to get serious about protecting its water. Barlow, national chair of the Council of Canadians, was in Ottawa on Tuesday to speak about her latest book, which urges Canadians to act to stop what she sees as the country’s water crisis. Ottawa is surrounded by beautiful waterways – including the Rideau and Ottawa rivers – but Barlow says all that water can create the false notion that we have an endless supply of fresh water."
The article notes, "She points to the proposed Energy East pipeline – which would cross the Rideau River near Highway 416 – as well as this summer’s drought and the frighteningly colourful display of blue-green algae, known to produce toxins, in the Rideau Canal a couple of weeks ago as obvious, poignant examples of pressing water issues. She said the city of Ottawa should do more to educate people about its waterways."
And it highlights, "She also says bottled water should be banned on municipal property, at city council meetings and at city events. Barlow says she would like to see Ottawa become one of the Council of Canadians’ 'blue communities' and name itself as a municipality that wants to proactively protect water as a human right." To learn more about our blue communities campaign, please click here.
In her speech this evening, Barlow talked about the gutting of the Navigable Waters Protection Act by the Harper government through his infamous omnibus bills. While encouraging people to speak at the upcoming federal consultations in favour of both a full restoration of lost protections and enhanced new protections, Barlow quipped, "During the election the Liberals promised to restore water protections, now they're promising to consult us about restoring water protections."
The Council's new Every lake, every river campaign calls on the Trudeau government to immediately and fully restore the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Fisheries Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act (currently the Navigation Protection Act) to their 2012 standards until new and stronger laws are in effect.
Barlow also encouraged the audience to get involved and learn more about our water campaign, which you can do by clicking here.
She closed the evening with these powerful words: "Each and everyone of us has a personal responsibility to take action, to collectively confront the very power structures that have prevented the change needed to protect and honour the great water heritage of this land. Future generations have the same right to breathe clean air and drink clean water. Much rests with what we do now."
Barlow now heads to:
- Kingston (Queen's University) - September 21
- Guelph (Harcourt United Church) - September 22 - in conversation with Arlene Slocombe of Wellington Water Watchers
- Toronto (Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church) - September 23 - in conversation with Sarah Harmer
- Vancouver (Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral) - September 29 - in conversation with David Suzuki
- Winnipeg (McNally Robinson Atrium) - November 24
Public forums are also being organized in Barrie (November 7) and Chilliwack (November 21). In addition, book-signing events are now being planned in Calgary (September 30), Belleville (October 3), St. John's (October 14-16), Saskatoon (October 18), Windsor (November 2) and Halifax (November 10).
Please purchase your copy of Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis from your local independent bookseller, but it can also be purchased online directly from the publisher here.