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March 12, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports this morning that, "The world faces a bleak future over its dwindling water supplies, with pollution, climate change and rapidly growing populations raising the possibility of widespread shortages, a new report compiled by 24 agencies of the United Nations says."

COMPREHENSIVE STUDY
"The warning from the UN is based on one of the most comprehensive assessments the global body has undertaken on the state of the world's fresh water and was commissioned for use at a major international water conference being held next week in Istanbul."

The World Water Assessment Programme website adds, "The United Nations World Water Development Report, released every three years in conjunction with the World Water Forum, is the UN’s flagship report on water. It is a comprehensive review that gives an overall picture of the state of the world's freshwater resources and aims to provide decision-makers with the tools to implement sustainable use of our water."

March 11, 2009

CBC reports today that, “oilsands giant Suncor and two of its contractors have been charged with 90 counts of dumping undertreated waste water into the Athabasca River and providing false or misleading information to the province about it, CBC News has learned. The charges, which were laid more than a year ago in February 2008 under Alberta's Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, relate to the monitoring of waste water from a Suncor-owned work camp that houses up to 3,500 people at the company's operations north of Fort McMurray, Alta. Suncor, camp operator the Compass Group of Canada, and treatment plant operator Rodney McCabe and his company R&D McCabe Ltd. have all been charged.”

March 11, 2009

The National Post reports this morning that, "The Harper government is proposing to relax its oversight of foreign takeovers..."

$312 MILLION THRESHOLD TO BE RAISED TO $1 BILLION "Under amendments to the Investment Canada Act contained in the budget bill, the Conservatives have proposed raising the threshold under which foreign takeovers by companies from WTO-member countries come under review to $1-billion in enterprise value. The current threshold is $312-million in asset value."

RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMPETITIVENESS PANEL "In raising the review limit, the government is following recommendations made last June by a panel, chaired by former BCE chairman Lynton 'Red' Wilson, that reviewed Canada's foreign-investment and competition regimes. The government has also followed the panel's recommendation to insert a provision into the law that would allow the minister to reject foreign takeovers if they present a threat to 'national security.'"

March 10, 2009

The National Post reports this morning that, "The world economy is likely to shrink to 'below zero' this year, in what many are now referring to as the 'Great Recession', the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday."

CONCERNS ABOUT CIVIL UNREST IN AFRICA
IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told African political and financial leaders that, "This is not only about protecting economic growth and household incomes -- it is also about containing the threat of civil unrest, perhaps even war. It is about people and their futures."

SOCIAL-ECONOMIC GAINS IN AFRICA AT RISK
Additionally, the article reports that, "Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said the crisis poses the greatest danger to Africa in recent history and threatens to reverse, even wipe out, hard won social-economic gains."

March 10, 2009

The recently-released ‘Report of the independent expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation’ states that, “In March 2008, the Human Rights Council, in its resolution 7/22 adopted without a vote, decided to appoint an independent expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation. At its ninth session in September 2008, the Council appointed Catarina de Albuquerque as independent expert, for a period of three years. Ms. de Albuquerque took up her mandate on 1 November 2008 and has since then engaged in different consultations with various stakeholders in order to define her priorities and organize her work.”

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