Jane Taber reported in the Globe and Mail this past Saturday that Alex Himelfarb, who several years ago "spoke quietly to a reporter about building a west-east energy corridor that would not only be good for business but also unite the country in the same way that the railroad knitted Canada together," is rumoured to become Michael Ignatieff's chief of staff.
Last weekend, Environment Minister Jim Prentice stated on CBC News that Canada does not support water as a human right because, “You get into difficult questions such as do countries that have access to water have a legal obligation to export it to countries that don’t. Clearly, it’s a complex issue.”
Now the Environmental News Service reports on US opposition to the recognition of the human right to water. ENS reports that, "The U.S. delegation (to the World Water Forum in Turkey), led by Daniel Reifsnyder, deputy assistant secretary of state for environment and sustainable development, took the position that 'there is at present no internationally agreed right to water or human right to water, and there is no consensus on what such a right would encompass,' according to State Department spokesman Andy Laine."
ENS reports, "The Ministerial Declaration was not open to negotiation at the World Water Forum as negotiations on the statement were concluded at a preparatory meeting held in Paris on March 3 and 4. Laine told ENS that during the preparatory process the United States did oppose language that would have recognized water as a human right."
On March 21 the Canadian Press reported that, "The Conservative government has decided to inject money into a Canada-led United Nations water monitoring program that had been floating in cash-strapped limbo for the past three years." The $2.5 million funding announcement means $500,000 to GEMS and $2 million for a water initiative at the University of Lethbridge and the University of Saskatchewan to complement GEMS.
The 30-minute on-line debate described below is now available at http://microsoft.rogersconsumerpublishing.com/macleans/. There is an accompanying on-line poll where you can vote for the winner of the debate (Meera).
As noted in their recent media release, "Macleans.ca and Canadian Business.com, together with Microsoft Canada Co. will present a series of thought-provoking business debates available online....The 'Thinking the Unthinkables' series, filmed in late 2008, brings together some of the brightest business and public policy minds to talk about compelling issues facing Canadians today..."
On Thursday March 26 you can watch Council of Canadians water campaigner Meera Karunananthan and the Frontier Institute's Daniel Klymchuk debate the question Selling Water: Should Canada be selling more water?
You can watch the debate at: http://microsoft.rogersconsumerpublishing.com/macleans/
The Globe and Mail reports today that, "Irving Oil Ltd. is looking to expand its energy exporting empire into electricity with a proposal to build a 600-megawatt gas-fired power plant that would be a key supplier to an ambitious new 'energy corridor' that New Brunswick and Maine plan to develop."
The gas-fired power plant, to be built near Saint John, would use "feedstock" from the $1-billion liquefied natural gas plant Irving is completing.
The article continues, "New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham and Maine Governor John Baldacci Wednesday launched a study (to be conducted by Irving) to determine the feasibility of a new transmission corridor, which would carry electricity, natural gas and gasoline from the province to the energy-hungry U.S. Northeast."
New Brunswick premier Shawn Graham says the energy corridor "is going to increase the security and reliability for the northeastern states."