April 19, 2017

The Council of Canadians in Detroit in solidarity with the right to water struggle there, July 2014.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow says the water shutoffs that started in Detroit today are a "terrible violation of the human right to water!"

The Detroit News reports this hour, "The city’s water department on Wednesday began shutting off water to residential customers with delinquent accounts and about 18,000 households are currently at risk."

The Detroit Free Press adds, "[A study by the] Henry Ford Health System's Global Health Initiative and the We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective [found that] people living on blocks where there were water shut offs for past-due bills were more than 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with a water-associated illness than those on blocks with no shut offs. The study also shows that common water-associated illnesses are skin and soft-tissue infections and gastrointestinal infections."

April 19, 2017

On September 22, 2016, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow announced our Boycott Nestlé campaign. To date, 51,855 people have signed this pledge.

Ontario residents are waiting for a critical decision to be made by Premier Kathleen Wynne on the bottled water industry after the provincial government held a series of consultations on this issue over the past several months.

One consultation related to a moratorium on new or expanded bottled water operations. We helped to generate thousands of submissions emphasizing that a permanent moratorium was needed, but the government has only implemented a two-year moratorium.

Another consultation related to the fees that bottled water companies pay to pump water. We generated thousands of submissions saying that no amount of money is worth allowing companies to bottle and sell water, but the government announced it would raise the fee to one-twentieth of a penny a litre of water taken.

April 19, 2017

Quill Plains chapter activist Elaine Hughes

The Council of Canadians Quill Plains (Wynyard) chapter is speaking against small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) in Saskatchewan.

CBC reports, "Researchers from the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan are looking into what it would take to build a small modular nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan. ...The project is meant to benefit countries considering adopting nuclear power, and aims to provide a comprehensive approach for adopting nuclear energy and siting nuclear power plants."

In addition, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has stated that nuclear energy could help Canada reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

April 19, 2017

Monsanto Tribunal hearings. Judge Lamm (Argentina), Judge Shrybman (Canada), Judge and chair Tulkens (Belgium). October 15, 2016.

Council of Canadians Board member Steven Shrybman was on a tribunal that has found Monsanto guilty of several environmental and human rights abuses.

Telesur reports, "The tribunal found the multinational guilty of a number of environmental and human rights abuses. The legal findings of a civil society trial on whether Monsanto is guilty of ecocide, subsequently fostering human rights abuses, were delivered in the Hague Tuesday [April 18]."

That newspaper article adds, "Initial hearings of the international tribunal occurred on October 15 and 16 in 2016 at the Institute of Social Studies, ISS. Over the past months, five internationally renowned judges heard 30 witnesses and experts from five continents speak on the subject. Monsanto critics claim that the trial, albeit void of legal standing, adds sustenance to the debate on ecocide and how this man-made phenomenon infringes upon our human rights."

April 19, 2017

Two children express their view before the vote. Photo by @putfoodinbudget

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow says the Town Council of Erin made "a big mistake" by voting in favour of accepting funds from Nestlé Waters Canada in relation to the water the transnational extracts from the local Hillsburgh well for their bottled water operations.

On February 1, Nestlé proposed to town council that they would give the town 50 cents for every 1,000 litres of water they extract from the well. Nestlé said the town would get at least $25,000 annually and estimates are the town could receive about $40,000 a year through this so-called 'community benefit fund'.

CTV now reports, "A council meeting in Erin [on April 18] was standing room only after residents packed the chambers to voice their opinions on whether or not the town should accept a levy from Nestlé Waters Canada."

The Wellington Advertiser adds, "Citizens jeered Erin council after it votes 4-1 to accept Nestle Waters voluntary levy."