March 17, 2009

The Peterborough Examinder reports this morning that, "City council asked city staff last night to look at what the municipality would have to do to ban the sale of bottled water in municipal facilities. Town Ward Coun. Dean Pappas raised the issue at the end of the committee of the whole meeting...Council agreed to ask staff for a report on the issue..."

The article highlights that, "Market Hall Performing Arts Centre banned the sale of bottled water earlier this year. The Unbottle It campaign with Maude Barlow, the senior adviser on water to the president of the United Nations General Assembly (and CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan), held an event at the facility in January. Pappas gave introductory remarks at the Unbottle It campaign event in Peterborough."

The full article is at

Congratulations to the Peterborough chapter for their work on this issue.

March 17, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports this morning that, "A documentary produced by Vancouver-based Mark Achbar (Manufacturing Consent, The Corporation) won a special environmental award at the European Independent Film Festival (ECU) in Paris on Sunday."

'Blue Gold' features Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow.

The article notes that, "Sam Bozzo's Blue Gold: World Water Wars was screened as part of the Ecology Now section of the festival, where it was introduced by Danielle Mitterand, France's former first lady, and president of France Libertés (a foundation concerned with global water conservation). The documentary received its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival in October, where it won the Best Environmental Film Audience Choice Award."

The full article is at

March 17, 2009

The Council of Canadians issued this media release this morning on both Canadian and European newswire services:

Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians chairperson and senior advisor on water to the President of the United Nations General Assembly, says the Harper government's goal of a seat on the UN Security Council should be denied until Canada formally recognizes water as a human right.

Ms. Barlow is currently in Istanbul for the week-long World Water Forum at which government ministers from 120 countries will discuss global water issues.

The Harper government has made securing a seat on the 15-member UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term a top foreign policy priority. The election will take place in October 2010. Canada is vying for this seat against Portugal and Germany, countries which already endorse the right to water.

"Recognizing water as a human right is vital to ensuring that governments address the reality of more than a billion people who are currently without access to clean water," says Barlow.

March 16, 2009

Notes from the 5th World Water Forum March 16-22, 2009 Istanbul, Turkey

The fifth World Water Forum has just begun in Istanbul and water justice activists from around the world are saying it should be the last. The forum is organized every three years by the World Water Council, an organization comprised of powerful transnational water corporations and international financial institutions. It is aimed at enabling corporations like Veolia and Suez to influence public policy regarding water resources and services.

Maude and I landed in Istanbul around 1pm today. We are here to join Blue Planet Project organizer Anil Naidoo and hundreds of other activists from around the world who are here to expose the forum's illegitimacy and oppose its agenda.

March 16, 2009

The Council of Canadians issued this media release this morning:


Ottawa / March 16, 2009 - The Council of Canadians is expressing shock and outrage this morning after Turkish police violently attacked a peaceful march by 300 water activists protesting the World Water Forum in Istanbul.

Reports indicate that Turkish police used tear gas and water cannons, fired rubber bullets, and arrested seventeen people, many of whom are now in hospital.