Montreal, March 22, 2019 – The City of Montreal and McGill University received today the Blue Community certification as part of World Water Day. To obtain this certification, they commit to recognize the human right to water and sanitation services, to promote the public management of water and to ban or gradually eliminate the sale of water bottles in their buildings and at their events. Montreal joins some forty Blue Communities around the world, including major cities such as Paris, Berlin and Victoria. As for McGill University, it becomes the fourth university in the world to obtain this certification.
The certification ceremony was conducted by Mrs. Maude Barlow, eminent specialist on water issues and Honorary Chair of the Council of Canadians. The ceremony was held at McGill University in the presence of Mr. Sylvain Ouellet, vice-president of the Executive Committee and responsible for water and water infrastructure for the City of Montreal, Mr. Yves Beauchamp, Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance) of McGill University, and Ms. Alice-Anne Simard, Executive Director of Eau Secours.
“By becoming a Blue Community, Montreal has taken strong steps to address the global plastics crisis and ensure that its water services are, and will remain, a public trust. Montreal is now the largest municipality in Canada to become a Blue Community and is a leader in the fight to protect the human right to water. There are now more than 15 million people who live in Blue Community municipalities and the number grows every day,” says Maude Barlow.
“The City of Montreal recognizes and affirms that the right to water and sanitation services is a human right. That is why our administration considers it necessary to have a declaration adopted by the municipal council to recognize this right. The governments of Canada and Quebec, the cities, the communities, all the actors must mobilize so that all communities are properly equipped for water management,” says Sylvain Ouellet.
“On behalf of McGill University, I would first like to congratulate Eau Secours and the founding organizations of the Blue Community Project for their efforts to encourage communities in Quebec and around the world to commit to the cause of water, says Yves Beauchamp, Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance) at McGill University. We are pleased to see our own efforts rewarded and thank Eau Secours for granting us the Blue Community certification.”
Since the launch of this campaign in Quebec four months ago, the cities of Amqui, Danville, Nicolet and Rivière-du-Loup have received Blue Community certification. Quebec alone now has more than 10% of the world’s Blue Communities. “The project is a huge success in all areas of the province with the public and municipal governments who want to take concrete action to protect the environment. I would like to congratulate Montrealers who have been asking the city for years to become a Blue Community. This victory is yours,” says Alice-Anne Simard, Executive Director of Eau Secours.
The Blue Community Project is being carried out with the financial participation of the Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins, the financial cooperative of the collective enterprises in Quebec. “The Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins supports Eau Secours’ initiative and congratulates this year’s recipients,” says Marc Picard, Executive Director.
About the Blue Community Project
The Blue Community Project is a joint initiative launched in 2009 by the Blue Planet Project, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Council of Canadians. A Blue Community is a community that adopts a framework to recognize water as a common good. The project is coordinated in Quebec by the organization Eau Secours.
About Eau Secours
Eau Secours, a non-profit organization founded in 1997, aims to promote the protection and responsible management of water from the perspective of environmental health, equity, accessibility and collective defense of the rights of the population.
Congratulations and happy World Water Day!