The Highlands Company began buying up land telling local farmers that they wanted to be the biggest potato producer in the province. When the community discovered that the real intention was to excavate a massive quarry 200 feet below the water table, they began to fight back.
Emma Lui's blog
Despite releasing the budget on World Water Day, the Harper government failed miserably to meet its federal responsibilities on water in Canada.
First Nations and Drinking Water
Despite there being 116 First Nations communities under a Drinking Water Advisory as of the end of February, yesterday’s budget failed to allocate any new funding for drinking water on First Nation reserves. The only new funding for First Nations infrastructure included “$22 million over two years to help First Nations ensure that the fuel tanks that power their essential community services…meet new environmental safety standards.” In the 2010 Budget, $330 million was allocated over two years for the First Nation Water and Wastewater Action plan (FNWWAP). The five key areas under the FNWWAP are: Infrastructure investments; Operations and maintenance; Training; Monitoring and awareness; and Standards, which means First Nations have to fund all of these five areas with a meagre $165 million this year.
March 10 is Bottled Water Free Day. People all across Canada and the world are taking a stand in support of public water and against the privatization of our water resources.
Canada has one of the best drinking water systems in the world, but the bottled water industry has worked hard to undermine our faith in public water. The industry sells water – what should be a shared public resource – for huge profits. Producing and transporting bottled water requires large amounts of fossil fuels, and plastic water bottles continue to end up by the millions in local landfills. We are not immune to the growing threats of water scarcity in Canada. Twenty per cent of Canadian municipalities have faced shortages in recent years. Bottled water production places huge stresses on increasingly scarce water resources.
Nestle is trying to reverse London’s ban on the sale of bottled water on city property. They have written a letter to Mayor Joe Fontana requesting a reversal of the ban. The letter is on the agenda of the Community and Neighbourhoods Committee Meeting today at 4:15 pm (Tuesday, February 15th). Nestle will be presenting as a delegation.
For those in the London area, please write or call your councillor to tell them you still support the bottled water ban. Please attend the meeting and show the new C&N Committee that there is interest in the community about this topic. The public is not permitted to ask questions.
On February 4, 2011, the Canadian Nuclear safety Commission (CNSC) approved Bruce Power’s plan to ship 16 bus-size radioactive steam generators from Owen Sound to Nyköping, Sweden. Bruce Power has contracted Swedish company Studsvik to transport and decontaminate 90% of the steam generators. The scrap metal will be free released into the consumer market. This is the first of several shipments since Bruce Power has 64 steam generators that it plans to ship to Sweden. The decision, which had been expected in December, was released at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. The timing of the release speaks to the controversy and opposition to the decision that the CNSC had expected.
Liberal MP John McKay was one of nine speakers at Friday’s conference, the Political Economy of Mining and Resource Extraction, at Carleton University. McKay, who is the MP for Scarborough-Guildwood, spoke to a jam-packed room of close to 100 people. He talked broadly about the bill, called the Corporate Accountability of Mining, Oil or Gas in Developing Countries Act, which would have held Canadian mining companies accountable for human rights abuses and environmental destruction while operating abroad. He expressed his surprise at the reactions to his bill. He received reactions from countries around the world including Bulgaria and the Philippines. Al-Jazeera and the Globe and Mail approached him.
The Botswana Court of Appeal Decision
In a precedent-setting decision today, the Botswana Court of Appeal upheld the Kalahari Bushmen’s right to water by quashing a 2010 decision that denied the Bushmen access to a borehole on their ancestral lands.
"This is a major win, it's the first test case of the right to water resolution at the United Nations," says Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians chairperson and former Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the UN General Assembly. The UN General Assembly and UN Human Rights Council passed resolutions last year recognizing the right to water and sanitation.
A Bushman spokesman said, ‘We are very happy that our rights have finally been recognized. Like any human beings, we need water to live.'"
During my last days in Cancun, I attended a roundtable discussion called the Global Referendum/ Referendum for Climate Justice: The Next Steps. The discussion was co-sponsored by the Council of Canadians, Common Frontiers, Hemispheric Social Alliance, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Jubilee South Americas, KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives and Red Mexicana de Accion frente al Libre Commerico. The roundtable was held in one of two gymnasiums at the Foro International de la Justicia Climatico de los Pueblos (the International Forum of Climate Justice - Dialogue of the Communities). Thirty people from Colombia, Spain, the US, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Canada participated, sharing experiences and perspectives.
EVENT: The Friends of the Tay Watershed, with the Canadian Federation of University Women,
Present WATER ON THE TABLE, A film featuring water-warrior Maude Barlow
DATE: Thursday, January 20th, 2011 7:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Myriad Centre for the Arts
located in the Old Perth Shoe Factory
corner of North Street and Sherbrooke Street East
As part of their Perspectives on Water series, the Friends of the Tay Watershed, with the Canadian Federation of University Women, are pleased to present the film Water on the Table, with special guest Emma Lui, national water campaigner for the Council of Canadians. Please join us for a discussion after the film.
Go to www.tayriver.org or visit Friends of the Tay Watershed on facebook for more information.
Despite opposition from Algonquins of Ontario, citizens and organizations, KNL (Urbandale) will begin clear cutting 26 hectares of forest in the South March Highlands in Kanata just west of Ottawa this week.
Steve Hulaj, one of the leaders of Coalition to Protect the South March Highlands said that: “The City is willingly allowing the destruction of potential native artifacts and site by willingly allowing what according to researchers is a flawed archaeological study to be accepted by the Province, and the Province has said it is the City's responsibility to ask for a halt. The City has not done so, so we need to Province to act.”
Contact the provincial government to tell them to protect the South March Highlands!
The South March Highlands is a 1100-hectare forest and wetland area - with streams, pools and beaver ponds - on the northwest edge of Kanata, just west of Ottawa, about 20-minutes from Parliament Hill.