September 5, 2019

Maude Barlow has spent her life learning about water and sharing information and sounding the alarm about what humans are doing it. She says, “I have never discovered any more powerful truth than this: the world will only be transformed from the bottom up, from people fighting in their own communities because they care.”

In her new book Whose Water is it Anyway? Taking water protection into public hands, she explores how the Blue Communities Project, a grassroots-based campaign that gives people tools they can use to push for the protection of water at the municipal level. The text below is an excerpt of the book. Maude will be embarking on a multi-city book tour this fall.

This is a book about hope.

It is a story about everyday people defending the water resources of their communities and protecting the broader human right to water by ensuring it is now and forever a public trust, one that must not be allowed to fall under private, for-profit control.

August 29, 2019

B.C.’s groundwater is under threat and I need your help to protect it.

In just a few weeks, local governments and First Nations throughout B.C. will vote on an important resolution that calls on the province to stop issuing water licences to commercial water bottling operations in the province.

These licences allow water bottling corporations to take fresh groundwater, bottle it in plastic, and sell it for profit.

Your mayor and councillors will vote on this critical issue at the upcoming Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention September 23-27. Resolutions UBCM members pass have a lot of sway in determining how the province conducts its business.

We need every mayor and councillor attending the convention to know that their constituents support this measure. Will you write your local officials today and ask them to vote in favour of this resolution?

August 20, 2019

You may have seen the news that Doug Ford’s Minister of Environment and Conservation, Jeff Yurek, sent Ontario Conservation Authorities (CAs) a letter last week. In that letter, Minister Yurek directed Conservation Authorities to “wind down” programs not connected to their “core mandate,” generally categorized as work related to:

  • Risk of natural hazards
  • Conservation and management of land owned or controlled by conservation authorities
  • Drink-water source protection
  • Protection of the Lake Simcoe watershed
  • Other programs or services as prescribed by regulation

The letter comes on the heels of the recently-amended Conservation Authorities Act* and a 50% cut in natural hazards funding to Conservation Authorities, which includes flood management.

August 20, 2019

Farmers put up a brick wall at an office of a CETA supporter

On July 23, the French National Assembly ratified the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). 

At the same time, in Montréal, a group of EU and Canadian politicians were celebrating this apparent victory. While there was little criticism in Canada, a big political storm was brewing in France.

I was in Paris during ratification, working with the French coalition that opposes the agreement, and it was far from a cakewalk. In mid-summer as the French were enjoying Bastille Day and their long European vacations, not all was tranquil. CETA is politically poisonous in France. All but one of the opposition parties, whether on the right or left side of the spectrum, voted against the agreement.

August 8, 2019

Redacted report

You have probably heard about the disturbing documents the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) recently released that reveal that CSIS, Canada’s spy agency, and the RCMP shared information about peaceful protestors with corporate oil executives.

The heavily redacted text – where the Council of Canadians was named repeatedly – showed these public agencies not only gathered information about people who attended community meetings and joined rallies to speak out against Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline, they put the information directly in Enbridge’s hands.

As a founder of the Council of Canadians, I have seen how our civil right to protest is a cornerstone of our democracy. I have marched shoulder-to-shoulder with land and water protectors, carried signs and banners, and shouted protest chants with Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast in order to protect water and land from the polluting oil industry.