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Activists in Victoria, BC marked World Water Day with a renewed push for sewage treatment that’s clean, green and public.

The Greater Victoria Water Watch Coalition (GVWWC), which includes KAIROS, the Council of Canadians, CUPE and other water activists, organized a water walk and an evening viewing of the documentary Thirst, which exposes the consequences of privatizing water. The movie was followed by a discussion with Michael McDonald, one of the water activists featured in Thirst.

The coalition is working to generate discussion about the choices facing residents of the Capital Regional District (CRD) and to highlight the need for a fair public process.

We want to make sure that new sewage treatment is public and environmentally sustainable. We know that there is very strong public support for sewage treatment and that our citizens want the regional district, not private corporations, to deliver the services. We encourage the politicians listen to our community,” says coalition member Dorothy Clippingdale.

Michael McDonald – a member of the Concerned Citizens of Stockton – spoke about Stockton, California residents’ battle to protect their public sewage treatment and water services. McDonald said there are important lessons for politicians, water corporations and the public.

Stockton’s local government was sold a bill of goods by OMI/Thames Water and tried to force privatization on our community. Our entire community is and will continue to pay a very high price for this. We have two court rulings in favour of the community’s right to have a say and mounting evidence that this private corporation will never deliver the services it promised,” said McDonald.

Find out more about the CRD sewage treatment campaign at www.keepwaterpublic.ca.