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A delegation from Canada’s largest union is in Marseille this week, joining workers and non-governmental organizations from around the world in challenging a global gathering that’s been dubbed the “Davos of water”.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) staff and members are part of global trade union federation Public Services International’s delegation attending both the World Water Forum and the Alternative World Water Forum (FAME), taking place in Marseille, France March 12-17, 2012.

CUPE has opposed every World Water Forum since 2000. The forum is controlled by the world‘s largest water corporations, is unaccountable and lacks the transparency vital to decision-making about the world’s water resources and services.

As the union representing most of Canada’s water and wastewater workers, CUPE will bring its perspective on:

  • The dangers of privatization, and alternatives that keep water public
  • The threat posed to water and wastewater services by the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) being negotiated between Canada and the European Union
  • Lessons learned from successful campaigns to keep water and wastewater services public
  • Workers’ perspectives on implementing the human right to water and sanitation, and the need for Canada to recognize these fundamental rights

CUPE is co-sponsoring and taking part in panel discussions at both the World Water Forum and FAME. The union is being represented by:

  • Mike Davidson (president of CUPE 500, representing municipal workers who are challenging a secret 30-year deal signed by the City of Winnipeg with water multinational Veolia)
  • Cindy McQueen (president of CUPE 389, the union representing municipal workers in North Vancouver and part of the campaign to defeat a major privatization scheme in Abbotsford, British Columbia
  • Kelti Cameron (CUPE global justice officer with expertise on trade, privatization and public alternatives)
  • Pierre-Guy Sylvestre (CUPE Quebec researcher and economist with expertise on trade, privatization and public alternatives)
  • Robert Lamoureux (CUPE communications representative, has worked on local anti-privatization campaigns)


For more information or to arrange interviews while in France:

Robert Lamoureux, CUPE communications, (416) 993-1063 or rlamoureux@cupe.ca

In Canada:

Greg Taylor, CUPE communications, (613) 818-0067 or gtaylor@cupe.ca