BURNABY - The Canadian Union of Public Employees is sponsoring a number of events in support of Blue October, an international month of action challenging corporate control of water and defending people’s equal access to shared water resources.
“British Columbians want water and sewer services to be publicly owned and operated. And CUPE members are at the front line of the campaign to keep those services public,” says CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill.
O’Neill says he is proud that CUPE is part of Blue October, whose origins are found in Uruguay’s groundbreaking constitutional referendum recognizing water as a fundamental right. Blue October celebrates Uruguay’s historic achievement by challenging corporate control of water with events taking place this month throughout Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe.
Across British Columbia CUPE locals, conferences, workshops and campaigns will highlight the need for public water and sewer services.
- Vancouver Public Library Speak Up 2006 Series: Water Privatization – Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty (Oct 3 & 11, Vancouver)
- CUPE BC ‘s Aboriginal Gathering - Creating the Inner Warrior: Empowering our Aboriginal and Métis Members. The conference includes a workshop series on water issues facing aboriginal communities, with participation by Chief Garry John. (Oct 13 – 15, Victoria)
- Union of British Columbia Municipalities CUPE workshop highlighting public sector successes and sharing lessons learned from water and sewer public-private partnerships (Oct 22, Victoria)
- CUPE B.C. Member Weeklong School: Defending Public Water. An opportunity for CUPE members to learn how to build a campaign to defend public water and sewer in their communities. (October 22 – 27, Parksville)
- Our Water. Our Future. A conference offering perspectives on conservation and sustainability, privatization and commodification. CUPE’s Island Water Watch campaign is a major sponsor of the conference which features: Claudia Campero, a prominent Mexican water activist; Tony Clarke, co-author of Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World’s Water; and sustainability activist Severn Cullis-Suzuki. (Nov 3 - 5, Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, Vancouver Island)