Photograph of Melina Laboucan-Massimo by Jenna Pope

Take action for water on World Water Day!

March 22 is World Water Day – a great day to take action for water in your community! There are few things more important than clean, safe water, but damaging and polluting industries, the lack of strong federal government protections, and water privatization efforts are putting many water sources at risk.

Did you know that there are many people who live without access to safe drinking water?

To date, there are 110 drinking water advisories in First Nations communities. There are routinely more than 100 water advisories in effect at any given time – some communities have lived under advisories for nearly 20 years.

Prime Minister Trudeau promised during the 2015 election campaign to end boil water advisories in First Nations within five years of forming government. In December 2018, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said the Trudeau government was spending only part of what it is needed to end drinking water advisories in First Nations. The newly elected Liberal minority government has committed to ending long-term drinking water advisories by 2021, but this commitment does not provide safe, clean drinking water to all First Nations, nor does it address more systemic issues of infrastructure shortage or Indigenous self-governance.

Meanwhile, many Indigenous communities are at the frontline protecting the land and water and fighting major extractive projects like the Trans Mountain Pipeline, Alton Gas, Coastal GasLink, and the newly proposed Teck Frontier Mine, the largest open pit tar sands mine in Canada. Our fight for climate justice and water protection must include learning from, working with and uplifting the voices of Indigenous communities.

You can help. This World Water Day, take action for water in your community!

Whether it’s pressing the Trudeau government to keep its promise for safe water in First Nations, talking to your municipal council about becoming a Blue Community, or joining the Nestlé boycott, there are many ways you can make a difference.

The theme for World Water Day 2020 is Water and Climate Change. As we continue to connect the fights for climate justice, water justice and Indigenous rights, this World Water Day, the Council of Canadians extends an invitation to our chapters and supporters to screen The Condor & The Eagle, a timely film following Indigenous leaders who are engaged in critical actions to preserve their territories from environmental destruction through the Americas We hope that this film is an opportunity to learn, build community, and come together on the issue of the climate and water crisis. Find out more information about the film and access the organizing toolkit here.

Note: Due to COVID-19, our chapters and supporters have cancelled their screenings in the interest of public health and social distancing. For more information on our water campaign, please contact Vi Bui, and don’t forget to check out our water publications, which you can use to help inform people and raise awareness.