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VICTORIACouncil of Canadians Chairperson Maude Barlow met with students, staff and teachers at Oak Bay High School today to present her new book Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water.

Representatives of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which will donate Barlow’s book to public high schools, colleges and universities in the Greater Victoria area, also joined Barlow.

During a Victoria stop on a country-wide tour to launch her new book, Barlow was delighted at CUPE’s commitment to provide schools and post-secondary institutions with this resource at a time when the Greater Victoria community is planning new sewage treatment.

“The major water issue facing this community is new sewage treatment. It might not feel like it yet, but right here in Victoria you are on the frontlines of the global battle to defend the public’s right to control water and wastewater services,” Barlow told Oak Bay students. “I can only echo the words of local water activists - sewage treatment should be clean, green, affordable and most important, it should be public.”

Kim Manton, CUPE 1978 campaign coordinator, says that water and wastewater workers in her union wanted to make a statement because they are very concerned about the possibility of private corporations, rather than the Capital Regional District, operating new sewage treatment and resource recovery programs. “Students are the future. They need to know that what is happening in their community is part of a much bigger global struggle to keep water services public.”

Barlow will be speaking at a public forum this evening at 6:30 p.m. at Da Vinci Hall Centre, 195 Bay Street, Victoria.