On July 18, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet with the federal election fifteen months away.
CBC reported, "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made significant changes to his cabinet, bringing five new ministers to the table and creating new portfolios for seniors, intergovernmental affairs and border security." According to CBC, some of these changes include:
- Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson becomes Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
- Amarjeet Sohi moves from Infrastructure to Natural Resources.
- Jim Carr moves from Natural Resources to International Trade Diversification.
- Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett has "Northern Affairs" dropped from her title.
Missing in these changes is the creation of a Minister of Water position. The Council of Canadians has long called for a Minister of Water position to be created. A Water Minister is needed to coordinate the more than twenty departments related to water, develop a national action plan on water and advocate for the protection of water in energy and pipeline, mining and other projects.
Energy projects like the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the Site C dam, and fracking projects pose a risk to water quality.
In 2008, the federal Liberal party under Stéphane Dion's leadership pledged that a Liberal government would create a water minister portfolio.
A national action plan on water that includes bold new water legislation enshrining the UN human rights to water and sanitation and protects drinking water and water for ecosystems is sorely needed.
The Liberal government has undemocratically pushed through Bill C-69, which makes sweeping changes to Canada's water, environmental, and energy legislation, and hands even more power to corporations in water and energy decision making. The Liberal government shut down debate on the 400-page bill four times as it moved through Parliament. The Bill passed a third reading last month, despite all opposition parties having voted against it.
The Bill fails to fulfill the Liberal government's commitment to restore protections and introduce modern safeguards and falls short of requiring free, prior, and informed consent as outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Tragically, the Liberal government supports an economic system that puts unlimited growth above the vital needs of people and the planet. Bill C-69 further cements market-based, corporate-friendly policies into Canada's water, environment, and energy laws.
A Minister of Water is urgently needed to uphold the human right to water and protect water for people and ecosystems from coast to coast to coast. A Minister of Water is required to promote policies that serve people, communities and our shared environment, not corporate interests, across Canada and Indigenous nations.
Take action and sign the Council of Canadians' petition calling on the Liberal government to scrap Bill C-69, create a Minister of Water position and develop a national action plan on water.
Like this article? Please chip in to keep stories like these coming.
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.