In a media release, the Saskatchewan Environmental Society warned that “Fortune Minerals is proposing construction of a metal processing plant near Langham, SK. This proposal involves use of highly hazardous chemicals and the burying on-site of 2.8 million tonnes of arsenic-containing waste.”
A local resident from Langham has warned that “260,000 gallons of water will be drawn out of our aquifer daily, then contaminated and pumped back down through the aquifer to the Manville area to be lost to the water cycle forever.”
On Wednesday morning, Shit Harper Did (SHD) and friends put up a 24-foot banner reading "I SPY A WASTE OF MONEY" with two 3-foot eyeballs at the new spy agency on Ogilvie Road in Ottawa. The purpose of the action, part of SHD's new Creep campaign, was to bring attention to the costly building and Canada's spying on environmental and other advocacy groups.
I am at the Budapest Water Summit this week working with friends from Public Services International, the Transnational Institute, KruHa Indonesia, Food and Water Europe and IBON. The Budapest Water Summit is yet another UN event dominated by the corporate policy agenda. It features an exhibition where UN agencies display their information alongside corporations -- like Veolia and Nestle -- that are peddling the latest profit-making schemes as solutions to the environmental and economic crises. One panelist summed up the general tone of the summit in this morning's plenary session when he said, "water is everybody's business."
Maude Barlow and I arrived in Bayfield, Ontario, the 15th stop of the Great Lakes Need Great Friends tour, on Friday evening. It is a beautiful village and Main Street is full of quaint, cozy and independent restaurants, inns, cafés, art galleries and stores.
Last week thousands of scientists and supporters joined Stand Up For Science rallies in 18 cities across the country, some as far north as Yellowknife.
The rallies were born out of last year's Death of Evidence protest and continued to decry the muzzling of scientists, gutting of environmental legislation and slashing of environmental research budgets.
When the Council of Canadians and CUPE first created the Blue Communities Project we weren’t sure how to convince cash-strapped municipalities to come on board. How would we get local government who faced federal and provincial restrictions forcing them to consider privatization when seeking funding for infrastructure projects to stand up to private for-profit water and sanitation services or ban bottled water in public facilities. In 2011, when Burnaby became the first Blue Community, we were thrilled.
Driving into Kalkaska County, the welcome sign displays a picture of an oil well which is indicative of the history of oil and gas drilling in the county.
FLOW's Communications Director Eric Olson and I drove 30 minutes outside of Traverse City Monday afternoon to the neighbouring county of Kalkaska. Kalkaska is an economically depressed community and many closed stores on Kalkaska's downtown are a stark indication of that.
I arrived in Traverse City, Michigan Friday afternoon to attend FLOW for Water's annual meeting and the Great Lakes Society's annual celebration on Saturday. Over the course of the weekend I've been meeting with allies including FLOW's Jim Olson, Liz Kirkwood and Eric Olson, Food and Water Watch's Mark Schlosberg and Sierra Club Rochester's Wayne and Sally Howard to discuss strategies on protecting the Great Lakes from fracking, water withdrawals and other threats.
Seeing the beautiful, turquoise-tinted shores of Traverse Bay, it's hard to believe that fracking is taking place roughly 30 minutes east of here in the neighbouring country of Kalkaska.
I arrived back home on Friday night from the Great Lakes Need Great Friends event in Port Elgin, a quaint town surrounded by cottage homes on the breathtaking shores of Lake Huron.
The event was the sixth stop of the 2013 Great Lakes speaking tour with stops already in Duluth (WI), Milwaukee (WI), Grand Rapids (MI), Toronto and Rochester (NY). The tour originally began last year with events in eight cities including Owen Sound, Sarnia and Kingston.
Organized by Save Our Saugeen Shores, the event was standing room only with 470 people packed into the second floor of the Port Elgin Plex.