Water: A Human Right, A Public Trust, A Shared Commons

The Council of Canadians are leaders in campaigns to protect Canada’s freshwater sources. Their campaign work, and that of the local Comox Valley Chapter, focuses on recognizing water as a human right, a public trust and shared commons. The commons consists of gifts of nature such as fresh water, oceans, air and wildlife.

Water as a human right is to be shared, carefully managed, and protected from privatization and industrialization.

Water as a public trust puts community water interests ahead of private water users. It requires water be allocated for the needs of citizens and ecosystems first, not those with industrial or private projects.

As a commons, water is no one’s property; it is not a commodity to be sold or a source for personal profit. It is not to be taken, put in plastic bottles and sold to others at exorbitant prices.

The more that private interests control the water supply, the less we, as a community, have a say about our public water. We are currently witnessing how local groups and communities are fighting to protect or regain control of their local surface and ground water, including community-drinking watersheds.

The bottled water industry is one of the most polluting on earth. Only one in six plastic water bottles is recycled. Instead they lie stagnant in landfills and end up as trash in our rivers, streams and oceans. They’re tossed on land, littering roadsides, beaches, parks and forests.

The plastic water bottle is made up of chemicals and fossil fuels that leach into the soil and groundwater. Imagine a water bottle filled a quarter of the way up with oil. That’s about how much oil is needed to produce and transport each and every bottle.

Fresh water is not an infinite resource and we cannot continue to view it as such.

“Groundwater resources are finite. Wasting our limited groundwater on such uses as bottled water is a recipe for disaster. We must safeguard groundwater reserves for our communities and future generations,” states Maude Barlow Honorary Chair of the Council of Canadians. “Bottling water is draining communities here in Canada and around the world.”

At the pace we’re moving with the privatization and industrialization of water, the changes in climate, drought and over extraction, many communities will not have enough fresh water to meet their future needs.

Site C Decision

Many British Columbians are deeply disappointed with the government’s controversial decision to proceed with the Site C dam. We can not remain silent! It is imperative our voices are heard and that we continue to let Premier Horgan, members of the cabinet and our MLA know how we feel about their resolve to continue with this mega project.

What can you do?

1.Choose one or more of the points about the Site C decision to write a letter – handwritten, snail-mail letters are most effective. Your letter doesn’t need to be long – Andrew Nikiforuk suggests writing one a week.

2.Friday, March 23 – Mark this date on your calendar and come to the townhall and fundraising event to learn more Site C: Is It a Done Deal? 7 pm, K’omoks Band Hall

 

Make Every Vote Count!

March 14th 7 – 9 pm  (Doors open at 6:30)
Stan Hagen Theatre, NIC

Guest Speakers:
Elizabeth May(Member of Special Committee on Electoral Reform, MP Saanich-Gulf Islands)
Rachel Blaney(MP North Island-Powell River)
Barb Berger (Fair Vote BC)
Sheldon Falk (BC Federation of Students, NISU)

For free tickets click here

Come and find out how you can get involved in the Fair Vote Comox Valley campaign.

www.facebook.com/fairvotecomoxvalley
FMI: fairvotecomoxvalley@gmail.com

Nanaimo Town Hall with Prime Minister Trudeau

Friday, February 2
Registration at 9:00 AM – first come, first served.
Vancouver Island University, Lower Cafeteria.
Building 185 – 750 Fourth St.  Nanaimo (The line-up is expected to start by 7 am)
The event will start at 11 AM in the Gymnasium.
This campus map will help:   https://www2.viu.ca/map.
There are several facebook pages – the most active seems to be
Fish farm activists: 
Questions:   if you are inside and get to ask a question, Alex Morton recommends that this one is key.
“Why is your minister of Fisheries, Dominic LeBlanc fighting in court to make it legal to put piscine reovirus-infected farm salmon into fish farms along the BC coast, when the laws of Canada prohibit this and the Federal Court already ruled against this behaviour.”
Background – fish farmers have told the courts 5/6 of their hatcheries are infected, and that their operations would be “severely impacted” if they were actually prohibited from transferring these fish into marine pens.  The virus is Norwegian, it is spreading to wild salmon and appears to make it harder for the fish to swim up the rivers.

Signs

  • LeBlanc’s face and “Stop allowing PRV-infected farm salmon into BC waters” . “Fish Farms Out”.   Eg.s of large signs for rally.
  • large signs will not likely be allowed inside the event, but people might be able to bring a smaller cloth one in their pockets, to open at an appropriate moment.  Careful with this strategy, so as not to derail Trudeau having to respond “our” questions.