The 2018 Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) delivers a roadmap to where the country could be on the eve of the next federal election, if the government moves forward with bold action to deliver a progressive economic plan that leaves no one behind. Read more in the 2018 Alternative Federal Budget: Getting There. The Council of Canadians contributed the Water chapter:
Canada needs to put water protection and water justice at the heart of all policies and practices affecting water sources and services. The government could take a step in that direction by recognizing water as a human right, a shared commons and a public trust.
Beginning in 2010, the United Nations passed several resolutions recognizing the human rights to water and sanitation. These intentions were asserted again in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. The UN Human Rights Council has called on governments to develop comprehensive plans and strategies for water management, assess the implementation of these plans of action, ensure affordable water services for everyone, and create accountability mechanisms and legal remedies.
The Canadian government recognized the human rights to water and sanitation at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, but it has yet to take action to make these rights meaningful. The failure of the Trudeau government to take these rights seriously, as the Liberals promised in the 2015 election campaign, will impact the availability and access to clean water for generations to come.