March 20, 2009

Very sad news today.

CBC is reporting that, "Four Canadian soldiers were killed and eight others injured in two separate bombings outside Kandahar city on Friday, military officials said."

"The latest deaths bring the number of Canadian military fatalities in Afghanistan to 116 since Canada's combat mission there began in 2002. One diplomat and two aid workers have also been killed."

The article is at

The Council of Canadians is calling for the immediate and safe withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan.

March 20, 2009

Water campaigner Meera Karunananthan reports that she just spoke at the Youth Forum at the World Water Forum in Istanbul. Two World Water Council governors were also there.

Meera Karunananthan, National Water Campaigner for the Council of Canadians

Meera Karunananthan, National Water Campaigner for the Council of Canadians

From the stage, Meera asked the youth to put their hands up if they agreed that water should not be considered a commodity. Most raised their hands, and Meera asked Charles-Louis de Maud'huy, the alternate president of the World Water Council and an executive at the Veolia subsidiary Compagnie Générale des Eaux, to look around and take note.

Blue Planet Project organizer Anil Naidoo, who was there, notes that, "She got an extended standing ovation by most of the youth was fantastic."

March 20, 2009

The Guardian newspaper has reported that, "Earlier today the (British newspaper) The Sun said (Canadian) border security officials had declared (British MP George) Galloway, 54, 'inadmissible' because of his views on Afghanistan and the presence of Canadian troops there and would be turned away if he attempted to enter the country."

This afternoon the Globe and Mail reports that, "NDP immigration critic Olivia Chow said the Galloway ban perpetuates a pattern in which views that contradict those of the Conservative government have been suppressed. She said the Tories have adopted an 'unhealthy, isolationist, bunker mentality.' 'The minister of immigration is becoming the minister of censorship,' Ms. Chow said in an interview. 'We don't have to agree with everything Mr. Galloway talks about. But, at bare minimum, they should be allowed to express their points of view so Canadians can make decisions themselves. This is pure censorship and it's wrong.'"

March 20, 2009

Our media officer Dylan Penner has let us know that the Pulitzer Centre has uploaded a video clip of Maude Barlow speaking at the World Water Forum in Istanbul on water as a human right vs. water as a commodity.


You can watch the video at


The Christian Science Monitor reports that, "'If we can determine that water is a right, it gives citizens a tool they can use against their governments,' says Maude Barlow, a senior adviser on water issues to the president of the UN General Assembly. 'If you believe it is a human right, then you believe that you can't refuse to give it to someone because they can't afford it,' she says."

March 20, 2009

Please see below the full text of the 'People's Water Forum Declaration 2009' adopted on March 19.

The People's Water Forum was a counter-forum held by hundreds of civil society members (including the Council of Canadians) from nearly 70 countries.

People's Water Forum Declaration 2009

After Mexico City 2006, which was any important milestone of the continuous work of the global movement for water justice, we have now gathered in Istanbul to mobilize against the 5th World Water Forum.

We are here to delegitimize this false, corporate driven World Water Forum and to give voice to the positive agenda of the global water justice movements!

Given that we are in Turkey, we cannot ignore that this country provides a powerful example of the devastating impacts of destructive water management policies. The Turkish government has pushed for the privatization of both water services, watersheds and has plans to dam every river in the country.