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Analysis of Canadian water politics by the Council of Canadians' national water campaigner.
In March, the beleaguered—some would say besieged—city of Detroit, Michigan announced it would begin shutting off water services to between 1,500 and 3,000 households every week. It seemed impossible at the time but officials quickly made good on the promise. Detroit, the former industrial powerhouse of one of the world’s richest countries, has seen better days. But water is an essential social service, a necessity of life, and the city lies in the middle of the Great Lakes, the world’s largest body of freshwater. How could the taps possibly run dry?
Suncor is setting a precedent around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin with its new shipments of bitumen on the St. Lawrence River. On September 24, the first ever tanker to ship bitumen on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin left the port of Sorel-Tracey in Quebec. The tanker, the Minerva-Gloria, carried an estimated 700,000 barrels of bitumen to Sardinia, Italy which arrived on Tuesday at 4:22 p.m. local time.
Detroit's water crisis has drawn international attention in recent weeks putting a spotlight on the water cut-off program being pursued by the city. Organizations on the ground have been calling for an end to the cut-offs since March when the city announced it would begin shutting off water services to 1,500 to 3,000 households every week. Following a report to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation submitted by the Blue Planet Project/Council of Canadians and Detroit groups, Special Rapporteur Catarina de Albuquerque warned that the mass water shut-offs were a violation of human rights.
So often we hear governments and the oil and gas industry promoting fracking as a way to create jobs. Job creation and fracking -- and other fossil fuel projects -- are often pitted against water, environmental and public health concerns. The debate is framed as a black and white issue: If you oppose fracking, you are "anti-jobs" and you cannot possibly be an environmentalist that supports job creation.
Here are five points that debunk these myths. The reality is we have different options and we need to get our governments to start talking about them.
What is the state of knowledge of potential environmental impacts from the exploration, extraction, and development of Canada’s shale gas resources, and what is the state of knowledge of associated mitigation options?
If there is a consistent message throughout the report, it is this: we do not know enough about fracking.
I came home on Sunday evening from an awesome weekend in New Brunswick learning more about fracking, meeting with allies, and being inspired by the amazing work of our chapters in the Atlantic and the incredible opposition to fracking in New Brunswick. I even had the privilege of speaking at the Voice of the People tour in Saint John on Saturday evening. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
Monday, April 14, 2014 is the deadline for public comments on the Alberta Clipper pipeline to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC).
It is critical that the MPUC hear your concerns about how Line 67 will impact your community. Written comments are due at 4:30 CT on April 14, 2014. To learn more about how to submit a public comment on this risky pipeline, visit MN350.org's website.
The MPUC hosted five public hearings along the route in March and one in St. Paul last week.
On March 19, communities across the country celebrated Bottled Water Free Day. It's a day to call for the protection of the human right to water by standing in support of public water and against the privatization of water.
The Council of Canadians' Blue Planet Project has partnered with the Projet d'Accompagnement Guatemala Quebec to launch a new campaign called The Money Thread. We are calling on people living in Canada and Quebec to show their solidarity with mining impacted communities in Guatemala by pushing for the divestment of Canadian funds from the mining projects of Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources. Our new website contains a toolkit, petitions and background information about the campaign.