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Barlow to receive water award on eve of Great Lakes speaking tour

Toronto – The night before she begins an eight city speaking tour aimed at protecting the Great Lakes watershed, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow will be presented with a Heart & Vision award from the United Church on Monday, May 14 “for her exemplary commitment to social justice and for her leadership of the international effort to establish the fundamental human right to water.”

“This award is a real honour and this recognition of the urgency of protecting water couldn’t come at a more crucial moment,” says Barlow. “The Great Lakes of North America are in serious trouble. Multipoint pollution, climate change, over-extraction, invasive species, and wetland loss are all taking their toll on the watershed that provides life and livelihood to more than 40 million people and thousands of species that live around it.”

The tour, Great Lakes Need Great Friends: Protecting The Great Lakes Forever, will visit Toronto (May 15), Hamilton (May 16), Thunder Bay (May 17), Kingston (May 22), Sarnia (May 24), Township of Tiny (May 28), Owen Sound (May 29), and London (May 30), and with allied groups, several U.S. cities.

“On this tour to Great Lakes Basin communities, we’ll be discussing an exciting new proposal to designate the lakes and their tributary waters as a lived Commons, to be shared, protected, carefully managed and enjoyed by all who live around them,” adds Barlow. “Defending our water from exploitation is not just an environmental issue. It is also a question of human rights and social justice.”

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