In seven months, Eau Secours and its volunteers have added seven more Québec municipalities to the Blue Communities roster of 49 Blue Communities—17 of which are in Canada. They have also signed up two educational institutions including McGill University.
Started ten years ago, Blue Communities were an attempt to counter former Stephen Harper’s drive to promote private-public ownership of public water utilities. It asked municipalities to pass resolutions promote and protect the human right to water, guarantee that water services remain public and not privatized, and provide tap water facilities.
Here is the list of Québec Blue Communities:
- Amqui, September 16, 2013
- Danville, January 28, 2019
- Nicolet, February 11, 2019
- Rivière-du-Loup, February 15, 2019
- City of Montreal, March 22, 2019
- McGill University, March 22, 2019
- Trois-Rivières, March 25, 2019
- Mgr -A.-M.-Parent School, St-Hubert, Québec , April 18, 2019
- Richmond, May 7, 2019
On May 22nd, they will add the French Montréal School Board Commission and on June 5th, the village of St.-Fulgence in Saguenay-Lac-St. Jean.
Per capita, Québec may have the most Blue Communities in the world. Why is that?
In a speech at Université du Québec à Montréal, Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, and author of the upcoming book Whose Water is it Anyway? Taking Water Protection into Public Hands said that Québec already has a head start on water policy.
Québec is the only province where water is a public trust. In 2009, the Parti Québécois government passed a law protecting the collective character of water which Quebec recognized the right to water and sanitation. Water is also recognized as a public trust in Québec’s Civil Code.
Blue Communities gives another tool to Québec municipalities to fight water privitazation. In an op-ed published in the Montreal Gazette, Anne-Alice Simard, Executive Director of Eau Secours and Maude Barlow said that since 2000, 267 municipalities—such as Paris and Berlin—have undone privatization of their water systems after awry experiences.
“Canada is not immune to the water issues now threatening so many parts of the world. It is past time we stopped taking our water for granted. In becoming a Blue Community, Montreal has shown incredible leadership in the movement to protect water and water justice for future generations.”
They add, “In 2010, the UN General Assembly formally recognized the human right to water and sanitation, a huge step forward that shifted the debate from one of 'charity' to one of justice. A Blue Community recognizes this and vows to promote water justice."
Over 15 million people worldwide live la vie en bleu, in or Québec: les Communautés bleues!.
For more information: Eau Secours
Photos:(From top to bottom) Nicolet, Trois-Rivières, Amqui.
Courtesy of Eau Secours.