March 26, 2009

The Canwest News Service reports today that, "The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has inspected fewer than six per cent of bottled water manufacturers in Canada in the last year, the agency acknowledged Wednesday."

The article continues, "Out of 282 domestic manufacturers, inspectors have visited 16 of them since last April. The agency tabled the information in the House of Commons in response to a question from a Liberal MP."

MP Francis Scarpaleggia says, "If they have only inspected about six per cent of the manufacturing plants, maybe it's because they need more inspectors."

Scarpaleggia adds that since a bottled water company doesn't have to report a problem they encounter to the CFIA, "the industry is sort of regulating itself" which raises accountability concerns.

The article is at

March 25, 2009

Gordon Laxer, director of the Parkland Institute (and Council of Canadians Board member), writes in the Globe and Mail today that, "Suncor's proposed buyout of Petro-Canada is being touted as a match made in Canada to create a national champion that will kick-start the oil sands...Despite the spin, Petro-Canada's death moves us further toward ensuring American, rather than Canadian, energy security."

"With six new pipelines heading south, (the tar sands) are aimed straight at giving a fix to America's energy addiction. More and more of Canada's dwindling supplies of natural gas are burned up to heat dirty, tarry sands for export. This is the contrary to the reasons Petro-Canada was created, supported and paid for by Canadian taxpayers."

March 25, 2009

The Toronto Star reports today in a lead paragraph that, “Civil liberties groups are calling on the federal government to impose a moratorium on enhanced driver's licenses and hold a debate in Parliament on the issue. ‘We do not need to go down this path,’ Stuart Trew of the Council of Canadians told a public forum on the new identification cards that several provinces are rolling out as an alternative to passports to cross into the United States by land. ‘At the very least, Canada needs to debate this new technology before it can be implemented.’"

The full article can be read at

Together, the Toronto Star and reach 2,144,300 readers a week.

March 25, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports today that, "The Canadian Food Inspection Agency often finds problems with bottled water, but doesn't tell the public about them."

The article highlights that, "Canada's federal food watchdog issued 29 recall notices for bottled water products between 2000 and early 2008, citing deficiencies such as contamination by bacteria, moulds, glass chips and trace amounts of arsenic. Of the recalls, affecting 49 different products, it issued a public warning in only seven cases, two of which came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made public its recall orders."

"Although bottled water has an image as being clean and pristine, the CFIA's list of 29 recalls indicates most of the products yanked from the market were for microbiological contamination, quality problems termed 'pathogenic' in the access document. The findings included that of Bacillus cereus, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that is a potential risk to those who are ill or have weakened immune systems."

March 24, 2009

This past World Water Day 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.”

The Council of Canadians has been very clear that the recognition that water is a human right does not compel bulk water exports from Canada, something we have opposed for many years.