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March 18th is Bottled Water Free Day; thousands mark day with events across Canada

Ottawa, ON People across Canada and around the world are marking today as the fourth Bottled Water Free Day. Over 25 events are being held across the country highlighting the negative impacts of bottled water, and the need to defend public water resources and infrastructure from privatization.

“Canada’s public water systems provide millions with clean, safe drinking water every day. Bottled water puts unnecessary strains on these resources in the name of profits,” said Paul Moist, national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “Bottled Water Free Day is an opportunity for all Canadians to stand up against the privatization of our water by choosing and supporting municipal public tap water.”

Organized by the Canadian Federation of Students, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Council of Canadians, Polaris Institute, and the Sierra Youth Coalition, Bottled Water Free Day events will include the premiere of a new video on the importance of public water.

“Access to safe public drinking water is a human right, yet far too many in this country – particularly on First Nations – are being denied the basic necessity,” said Maude Barlow, national chair of the Council of Canadians. “For all people in Canada, and for the billions around the world denied access to clean drinking water, we need to do more to protect this vital resource.”

In partnership with Cinema Politica, organizers are also sponsoring a series of documentary film screenings in communities and campuses across Canada.

“Students across Canada are standing up for public water,” said Adam Awad, national chair of the Canadian Federation of Students. “We’re proud of the growing number of campuses that have shown their support for our public water by banning bottled water.”

Bottled Water Free Day started in 2010 in response to the growing privatization and commercialization of drinking water by the bottled water industry, and has been endorsed by over 80 organizations. To date nearly 100 municipalities, over two dozen university and college campuses, and countless workplaces have restricted the sale or distribution of bottled water.

A full list of events and endorsing organizations is available at backthetap.ca.