Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. More information on Maude Barlow can be found at: www.canadians.org/Maude
The United States and European Union have taken the free trade plunge.
President Obama announced in February that he will start talks with the EU on a transatlantic trade, investment, and regulatory pact. Last week, the European Commission sent a draft secret mandate to member states on how far they're willing to go to clinch it. And the usual business lobbies have already begun to celebrate what they hope to be an important (for them) leap forward for corporate globalization.
The Mexican government is allegedly seeking a spot in the transatlantic talks with speculation Canada may join. But for all three NAFTA countries the pact would be a mistake, as Canadians are learning too late.
The United Nations has just named 2013 the year of water co-operation. Those of us who have been fighting privatization packaged as “partnerships” and deregulation promoted as “corporate sustainability” are naturally skeptical.
We cannot talk meaningfully about sustainable solutions to the water crisis unless decision-makers are willing to acknowledge the need for an overhaul of the water-guzzling and water-polluting neoliberal economic model. David Harvey described it best when he referred to neoliberalism as a strategy of “accumulation by dispossession.”
Hello from snowy Vienna. We have had a wonderful day. Over 300 people and a lot of media attended this important conference today. People in Europe have been fighting water privatizations for over a decade and have started a process of reversal, leading to the remunicipalization of many water services, including some major cities, such as Paris.
But in a classic example of what Naomi Klein calls the shock doctrine, the European Commission and the European Central Bank are using the financial crisis to promote an “austerity” program that includes privatization of water services in a number of countries. Already, water prices have been dramatically raised in some cities, leading to water service cut offs and even evictions.
Common Causes is an assembly of social movements dedicated to defending democracy, social justice, the environment and human rights in the face of an all-out assault by the Harper government. This is the third extract we have published from Maude Barlow's report on the goals and aims of Common Causes. For an overview, see this article or check out our special rabble.ca Common Causes page.
A few months ago, I received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and my husband put it in a lovely frame and hung it up. On Friday, we took it down and on Monday I will send it back to Rideau Hall.
This was not a light decision. Although I am not a monarchist, I do recognize the power of symbol and know that a great many wonderful Canadians were proud to receive this honour for their dedication to their communities and I felt proud to be in such company.
But the actions of the Harper government in recent months have been so extraordinarily anti-democratic and just plain wrong for this country, that I and many other Canadians are having to find whatever means we can to protest.