German chancellor Angela Merkel will be in Ottawa for a visit on Monday, but she may not be bringing the news Stephen Harper wants to hear when it comes to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
Maude Barlow's blog
Many Canadians will be watching to see the outcome of the election on January 25. We have seen the polls that suggest Syriza will defeat the New Democracy government. This gives us hope given our opposition to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
We oppose this deal for numerous reasons including its investor-state dispute settlement provision that allows transnational corporations to sue for a loss in future profits when national governments enact legislation to protect the public interest and the environment. In this scenario, a Canadian-based mining company implementing a destructive mine in Greece could sue a government that passes legislation protecting the water, forests, and people from the toxic extraction of gold and silver.
Tsal'alhmec, known as People of the Lake, (Seton Lake Indian band) became the first Blue Indigenous Community this week. Tsal'alh adopted a resolution with the three criteria needed to become a Blue Community: recognizing of the human right to water, banning bottled water at community facilities and events and promoting public water services.
One year ago today I wrote an open letter to Liberal leader Justin Trudeau. I asked him to clarify his position on restoring Stephen Harper's $36 billion cut to public health care, cancelling the two-year additional wait to be eligible for Old Age Security, and reversing the gutting of environmental protections for water. I also asked him to oppose export pipelines and to speak against both the Canada-European Union 'free trade' agreement and the Canada-China foreign investment protection agreement.
We just completed a two-week tour in Atlantic Canada along the proposed Energy East pipeline route. Along the tour we met not just the usual suspects – environmental activists – but ranchers, fishers, baykeepers and ordinary folk who could see their livelihoods threatened by the pipeline. A wall of opposition to Energy East is growing.
For some people in Detroit, this has been a long summer: camping in other people's houses, unable to cook, bathe, and flush the toilet. Since March, the city has been cutting of water services to thousands of homes that are behind in payments.
I received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from York University in Toronto this morning. Here are my speaking notes for the Convocation ceremony:
Chancellor Gregory Sorbara, President Mamdouh Shoukri, the Senate of York University, and all the graduation students,
It is a great honour to share this convocation with you today. I am moved by your grace, energy and hope on this lovely June day.
In the few minutes I have to share with you I would like to urge you all, no matter what your education specialty, what vocation you choose, or where you live, to give some of your precious life energy to the great environmental challenges that face us today.
I just returned from an extraordinary trip to Brazil where I presented at a major environmental conference in Porto Alegre and then visited a beautiful region called Minas Gerais, reputed, along with Vichy, France, to have the most beautiful natural mineral water in the world.
The lovely town of Cambuquira became a "Blue Community" while I was there to send a signal to corporate plunderers such as Nestlé (which is destroying the waters of a neighbouring town called Sao Lourenco) that their waters are sacred and a public trust and will not be sold or privatized.
Brazil is known as a water-wealthy country. But what I discovered from various previous trips there is that the country is polluting, diverting and exporting its water heritage (as "virtual" water in commodity exports such as biofuels, rice and beef) to such an extent that it is now entering a crisis of water in spite of its water abundance.
I recently visited Detroit, Michigan and am shocked and deeply disturbed at what I witnessed. I went as part of a Great Lakes project where a number of communities and organizations around the basin are calling for citizens to come together to protect the Great Lakes as a Lived Commons, a Public Trust and a Protected Bioregion. There are deep concerns about the threat of extreme energy – including diluted bitumen from the tar sands of Alberta and fracked oil and fracking wastewater from North Dakota – being transported by pipeline and rail near the lakes and on barges on the lakes and calls to ban these dangerous toxins around and on the Great Lakes are growing.
In a world running out of accessible water, the question of control looms large. Is water a human right, a public trust and common heritage or a commodity to be put on the open market like oil and gas?