rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Great Lakes Need Great Friends tour kicks off its second week!

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Last night, the Council of Canadians kicked off the second week of its 8-city tour. Almost 100 people gathered at Queen's University in Kingston for the fourth stop of the tour. Betty Carr-Braint from the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte began the event with a welcoming which set the tone for an inspiring and moving evening.

Mark Mattson, President of Lake Ontario Waterkeepers, was the first speaker and gave an engaging speech about the claw back of environmental reviews and regulations over the last several decades. The most recent example is the gutting of the Fisheries Act in Bill C-38. He stressed the need for audience members to take protection of the Great Lakes into their hands and make governments and corporations truly accountable to them.

Robyn Hamlyn, a 13-year old water warrior, charmed the audience with her personal story on how she became involved in water activism. After seeing Blue Gold in class, she was inspired to take action. She has contacted close to 50 municipalities across Ontario and helping communities become Blue Communities, which are communities that recognize the human right to water, ban bottled water and promote public water services.

As an activist and lecturer at Queen's University, Bob Lovelace wisely explained the importance of practicing certain principles to protect the land including walking lightly on the land, taking only what is needed, listening to the Elders, knowing the land and honouring the relationship between the land and the people.

Maude Barlow, the National Chairperson for the Council of Canadians, gave an inspiring presentation about the need for a new vision, narrative or framework for the Great Lakes and what that vision might look like. Based on the principles of the First Peoples of the region, the Great Lakes Commons framework asserts that "the Great Lakes must be shared equitably by all who live around them and protected for seven generations into the future. To learn more about the Great Lakes Commons, visit our website.

Our next stop is Sarnia tomorrow night so stay tuned for more!


Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.