Barlow to speak at 'Untrouble the Waters' summit in Chicago

Barlow to speak at 'Untrouble the Waters' summit in Chicago

Postby Oscar » Wed May 10, 2017 8:05 am

Barlow to speak at 'Untrouble the Waters' summit in Chicago

[ ... it-chicago ]

May 5, 2017 - 6:23 pm

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow will be speaking at the 'Untrouble the Waters' summit at the University of Illinois on May 10-11. reports, "Giving community leaders an equal voice alongside government officials and academic researchers, a historic summit next week will tackle lead poisoning, oil pipelines, budget cuts, and other threats to the Great Lakes region with the aim of transforming water policy."

It then adds, "'Untrouble the Waters' is organized by The Freshwater Lab, an educational initiative based at the University of Illinois at Chicago that works to engage the public in freshwater issues. The Great Lakes - comprising Lakes Michigan, Erie, Huron, Ontario, and Superior - contain 21% of the world's entire supply of surface freshwater, with 50 million people dependent on them as a freshwater resource."

And the article highlights, "The Freshwater Lab Summit will address a range of urgent water issues affecting communities across the Great Lakes basin, including water costs and the right to clean water regardless of race, wealth, or class; the threat of oil pipelines; the impact of lead pipes on freshwater delivery; and new models for enhancing water quality, human health, and everyday life. The summit will also devote an entire day to working group sessions, which will allow participants to identify and plan new initiatives that will be put into action in the summer of 2017."

The Council of Canadians has identified numerous threats to the Great Lakes including:

1- Nuclear waste

We are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reject a plan to bury 200,000 cubic metres of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste near Lake Huron. In February 2016, federal environment minister Catherine McKenna delayed a decision on whether to approve the Ontario Power Generation's proposed deep geologic repository. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is now reviewing a report by the provincial Crown corporation which argues for the nuclear waste site. The federal agency is expected to make its recommendation to the minister this coming September.

2- Waukesha diversion

We are also opposed to the plan to divert 31 million litres of water a day from Lake Michigan and transport it via pipeline outside the boundaries of the Great Lakes basin to Waukesha, Wisconsin. In May 2016, representatives of the US states in the basin area along with Ontario and Quebec gave conditional approval to Waukesha's request to divert lake water under the Great Lakes Compact. The Toronto Star has commented, "Saying yes to Waukesha is one thing, but who asks next? Las Vegas?" It is believed that water will begin being pumped from Lake Michigan to Waukesha around June 2018.

3- Lack of funding

U.S. President Donald Trump plans to slash the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative -- that helps fund the cleaning up the Great Lakes -- by 97 per cent (from US$300 million to $10 million annually) next year. Since 2009, this initiative has allocated $1.3 billion toward the clean-up of the lakes (which are the source of drinking water for more than 40 million people). The Council of Canadians has called for a $500 million federal budget allocation in this country to implement a Great Lakes Action Plan that would establish a framework for local decision-making, clean up areas of concern, control invasive species, and create an inventory of pollutants. The March 2017 federal budget failed to do this.

To read Barlow's March 2013, 40-page report "Our Great Lakes Commons: A People’s Plan to Protect the Great Lakes Forever", please click here: [ ]

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Re: Barlow to speak at 'Untrouble the Waters' summit in Chic

Postby Oscar » Fri May 12, 2017 9:10 am

Barlow calls on Trudeau to establish a federal ministry of water

[ ... stry-water ]

May 10, 2017 - 1:37 pm

Barlow speaking at the 'Untrouble the Waters' summit at the University of Illinois in Chicago today. She says, "We are not governing these Great Lakes as if they matter, as if they need to be here in the future."

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has called for the creation of a federal ministry of water.

In an interview with Metro Canada news, Barlow says, "Where are our governments? We have a right to demand this."

She adds, "Really we have not cared for water in this country at all."

Barlow has previously stated, "The Trudeau government must take leadership in developing a new national water policy and strategy, asserting its right to do so while recognizing those areas of jurisdiction that come under provincial and territorial domain. This will mean working in cooperation with other levels of government and incorporating local community consultation and input. As well, there are at least 20 federal departments and agencies with responsibilities for water management that need better coordination."

And she has highlighted, "All policy and strategy should be based on the fundamental principles of water sustainability, water justice and public trust while also recognizing the special inherent and treaty rights of First Nations."

Key priorities for the federal ministry could be:

1- reinstating the Navigable Waters Protection Act
2- reinstating and improving the Fisheries Act
3- reinstating and improving the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
4- establishing national enforceable drinking water standards
5- establishing national enforceable wastewater disposable standards
6- retooling and properly funding the Canadian Environmental Protection Agency to do its job
7- mapping and protecting groundwater with enforceable national standards
8- properly funding the new water and wastewater fund and use it to promote public water services
9- fulfilling the promise of safe water on First Nations within five years and recognizing the inherent Indigenous right to water
10- rejecting the Energy East pipeline and planning the transition away from the tar sands
11- banning the shipping, burial and transport of extreme energy on or near the Great Lakes and other waterways
12- banning fracking
13- bringing in strict rules on mining
14- promoting local, sustainable food production
15- protecting and renewing forests and wetlands
16- removing all references to water from all trade and investment agreements
17- rejecting false market solutions to the water crisis.

To read more about these priorities, please see pages 227 to 241 of Barlow's book, "Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada's Water Crisis" [ ].
(Start a monthly gift to the Council of Canadians of $10 – or increase your current monthly gift by $5 – and we’ll send you a free copy!)

For more on our water campaign, please click here:
[ ]

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Re: Barlow to speak at 'Untrouble the Waters' summit in Chic

Postby Oscar » Fri May 12, 2017 8:36 pm

Barlow talks Energy East, Nestle & blue communities at 'Untrouble the Waters' summit

[ ... ers-summit ]

May 11, 2017 - 4:30 pm

(PHOTO: Maude Barlow and the Freshwater Lab team at the University of Illinois at Chicago.)

Council of Canadians chairperson spoke at the 'Untrouble the Waters' summit at the University of Illinois in Chicago yesterday.

As noted in the promotion for the summit, "Various concerns impacting the Great Lakes region will be the focus when government officials, researchers and community leaders from the U.S. and Canada convene at 'Untrouble the Waters', a summit organized by The Freshwater Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Panels and working groups will address critical issues impacting the Great Lakes region, such as lead poisoning, oil pipelines, budget cuts, clean water access and environmental protection."

In her speech, Barlow highlighted these key points:

1- The water crisis in North America - "All of these crises - the disappearing rivers of China, the almost fully polluted waters of India and Russia, the fact that Pakistan and Yemen among other countries may run out of water by 2025, the first ever massive drought in Brazil, the worst drought in a century in East Africa, a parched and sinking Mexico City - and all the human and other suffering that accompanies this crisis - are on our doorstep in North America, either here in some form now or coming."

2- Energy East tar sands pipeline - "TransCanada plans to build Energy East, an export oil pipeline that would carry tar sands crude from Alberta to the Atlantic coast. Energy East would be the biggest pipeline in North America, and would traverse the northern tip of Lake Superior, follow the Great Lakes basin east and pass under the St Lawrence River, crossing almost 3,000 waterways on its journey. The record of pipeline companies for detecting and stopping spills is abominable to begin with, but spilled diluted bitumen is especially dangerous to water and human health."

3- Nestle water takings - "Nestle is taking well over one million gallons (four million litres) of water a day from the Grand River that flows into Lake Erie. The company has just acquired access to another well when it outbid the local municipality for the water. Nestle pays the province $3.71 per 250,000 gallons and is sucking water out of a waterway upon which 11,000 First Nations people have no access to running water. ...No matter what price Nestle and other bottled water companies pay for this water, all of the Great Lakes watershed must be off limits to this industry."

4- Water protection legislation - "Our previous Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, set out to make war with the environmental community, fired thousands of scientists and researchers, closed down or deeply cut most of our major water research institutes, including the one that dealt with the Great Lakes, and gutted with three most important water laws - the Fisheries Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act. 99% of our lakes and rivers are now without federal protection. We are desperately trying to have these laws reinstated..."

5- Blue communities - "I would love to see many Great Lakes municipalities become a 'Blue Community', where they would pledge to recognize water as a human right, maintain their water services under public control and promote tap water over bottled water where clean tap water is available. This project started in Canada where 19 cities have come Blue Communities but has spread to Europe where cities like Berne, Switzerland and Paris, France have gone 'Blue'. So too have a number of universities and faith based communities."

To read her complete speech, please click here:
[ ... -notes.pdf ]

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