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OTTAWA 004d006f0072e than 200 Canadians will begin a national water summit in Ottawa Friday, serving notice that water is an issue that can no longer be ignored. The summit, the first of its kind, will develop policies and actions to counter water being commodified, privatized and overused.

The summit’s objectives were outlined today by Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians chairperson; Judy Darcy, national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees; and Jamie Linton, prominent environmental writer.

By 2025, as many as two-thirds of the world’s people will face severe water shortages, making water one of the world’s most precious and potentially profitable resources. Indeed, the World Bank says, “the wars of the next century will be about water.” Knowing the profit water holds, global corporations are trying to buy water systems and establish trade policies that encourage water’s mass export.

“This is not an issue the country with the most fresh water and longest coastline can afford to ignore,” said Barlow. “The federal-provincial water accord the federal government is proposing won’t work. Unless the federal government does its job and bans water exports 007700680069ch only it can do 007400680065 accord is a plan full of holes.”

The conference will hear from international experts on why commodifying water won’t help conservation 006200750074 will help make massive water companies even richer. Those companies already own drinking water systems in Britain and France.

“Water is simply not for sale,” said Darcy. “Where it’s been sold, people have paid more and the environment has suffered. We cannot allow for-profit water in Canada and urgently need federal investment in public water infrastructure today so municipalities aren’t forced to auction off Canada’s water to a massive water corporation.”

“Water is not a commodity, it is an essential need and a public trust,” said Linton. “We must set targets for water conservation here in the Great Lakes and set an example of how to live within the limits of our watershed. Large-scale water removals from an ecosystem will have unpredictable and harmful consequences and must not be permitted.”

The summit runs until Sunday with the aim of forcing the federal government to address the water crisis it is choosing to ignore.

For More Information:

Catherine Louli, Water Summit organizer Work: 237-1590 Ext. 268 Jamie Dunn, Water Summit organizer Work: 233-4487 Ext. 239