FORT MCMURRAY – Council of Canadians representative Susan Howett took the opportunity of the CUPE Alberta convention to deliver a message far too familiar to most delegates – control of water resources is under attack.
Howett told delegates horror stories of cities around the world who succumbed to pressure to privatize water and waste water systems. In the Philippines, water rates went up by 600%.
Howett said that the population explosion in the US has created ‘a desperate need for water south of the border,’ leading to pressure for Canada to export its water.
“Water selling not the answer,” said Howett “It’s dangerous. It only insures that those who can pay for water will, and others will be left behind.”
Howett was very critical of the fact Canada has no national water strategy. “Twenty-one federal ministries touch water in some way, but they don’t talk to each other, or to provinces or municipalities. There is a lot of pass the buck when things go wrong.”