The Council of Canadians and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are partnering to launch a new initiative aimed at protecting water from privatization in the lead up to World Water Day 2009.
Council of Canadians chapters and CUPE locals across the country are inviting community residents to soak up information on local water issues at a variety of events for the launch of the Blue Communities Project. Toronto Mayor David Miller has joined the growing ranks of Canadians who have taken the Tap Water Pledge “to support publicly-owned and delivered water by drinking tap water instead of bottled water…”
“This World Water Day, we are calling on cities and communities to declare water a human right and to ensure access to safe, clean, publicly-provided water,” says Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians and senior advisor on water to the President of the UN. “There is a growing movement across Canada and around the world to protect our water services from the growing threats of privatization and underfunding. We need Blue Communities to defeat that threat.”
“The Conservative government is pursuing P3s, even though the economic and financial crisis demonstrates that privatization’s 15 minutes is up. Public financing, operation and delivery works best for water services and infrastructure,” says Paul Moist, national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “Investing public infrastructure dollars in maintaining and upgrading public water and wastewater systems will create green jobs and deliver the top-notch services communities deserve.”
Earlier this month the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) urged communities across the country to phase out the use of bottled water in municipal facilities. CUPE and the Council of Canadians are urging communities to build on the FCM resolution by adopting a water commons framework that: 1) recognizes water as a human right; 2) promotes publicly-financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services; and 3) bans the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events. Municipalities that adopt this framework will be recognized as Blue Communities.
World Water Day is on March 22.