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The Council of Canadians are leaders in campaigns to protect Canada’s freshwater sources. Their campaign work, and that of the local Comox Valley Chapter, focuses on recognizing water as a human right, a public trust and shared commons. The commons consists of gifts of nature such as fresh water, oceans, air and wildlife.
Water as a human right is to be shared, carefully managed, and protected from privatization and industrialization.
Water as a public trust puts community water interests ahead of private water users. It requires water be allocated for the needs of citizens and ecosystems first, not those with industrial or private projects.
As a commons, water is no one’s property; it is not a commodity to be sold or a source for personal profit. It is not to be taken, put in plastic bottles and sold to others at exorbitant prices.
The more that private interests control the water supply, the less we, as a community, have a say about our public water. We are currently witnessing how local groups and communities are fighting to protect or regain control of their local surface and ground water, including community-drinking watersheds.
The bottled water industry is one of the most polluting on earth. Only one in six plastic water bottles is recycled. Instead they lie stagnant in landfills and end up as trash in our rivers, streams and oceans. They’re tossed on land, littering roadsides, beaches, parks and forests.
The plastic water bottle is made up of chemicals and fossil fuels that leach into the soil and groundwater. Imagine a water bottle filled a quarter of the way up with oil. That’s about how much oil is needed to produce and transport each and every bottle.
Fresh water is not an infinite resource and we cannot continue to view it as such.
“Groundwater resources are finite. Wasting our limited groundwater on such uses as bottled water is a recipe for disaster. We must safeguard groundwater reserves for our communities and future generations,” states Maude Barlow Honorary Chair of the Council of Canadians. “Bottling water is draining communities here in Canada and around the world.”
At the pace we’re moving with the privatization and industrialization of water, the changes in climate, drought and over extraction, many communities will not have enough fresh water to meet their future needs.
In 2015, Blueberry River First Nation (BRFN) commenced a significant treaty infringement claim against the Province of BC. BRFN claims that the Province is in breach of its obligation under Treaty 8, due to the cumulative impacts of development in BRFN’s traditional territory.
The trial in BC Supreme Court that was scheduled to begin on March 26 has been postponed to April 9.
The rally that was planned at the Courtenay Courthouse on March 26 has been postponed. Further information soon.
Town Hall Meeting to Examine the Site C Decision
Our BC government has told us there is no choice but to proceed with the Site C Dam.
Many experts have challenged this decision arguing that cancelling Site C makes economic sense, as well as saving valuable agricultural land in the Peace River Valley, and honouring the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
On Friday, March 23 at 7 pm, Islanders For The Peace and the local chapter of the Council of Canadians are hosting a Town Hall meeting at the K’omoks First Nation Band Hall on Dyke Road to offer the latest up-to-date information and analysis from people on the front lines of this crucial debate.
Speakers include Ken & Arlene Boon of the Peace River Landowners Association and Steve Gray, Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative.
This event will raise funds for the Treaty 8 legal challenge being put to the courts by the Moberly Lake and Prophet River First Nations as well as for the Peace River Landowners Association who have been fighting this project for many years.
The Comox Valley is the 3rd stop of the Justice For The Peace Island Tour. Other events on the Islands will take place in Duncan, Sooke, Nanaimo, Quadra Island and Salt Spring Island.
Silent auction items and services are gratefully accepted to help with raising funds.
For more information, please contact Sally at 250 337-8328.
Many British Columbians are deeply disappointed with the government’s controversial decision to proceed with the Site C dam. We can not remain silent! It is imperative our voices are heard and that we continue to let Premier Horgan, members of the cabinet and our MLA know how we feel about their resolve to continue with this mega project.
What can you do?
1.Choose one or more of the points about the Site C decision to write a letter – handwritten, snail-mail letters are most effective. Your letter doesn’t need to be long – Andrew Nikiforuk suggests writing one a week.
2.Friday, March 23 – Mark this date on your calendar and come to the townhall and fundraising event to learn more Site C: Is It a Done Deal? 7 pm, K’omoks Band Hall
3.Monday, March 26 – Join the rally! Come to the Courtenay court house lawn at 10 am to support the Blueberry River First Nations in their treaty infringement claim that
Elizabeth May(Member of Special Committee on Electoral Reform, MP Saanich-Gulf Islands)
Rachel Blaney(MP North Island-Powell River)
Barb Berger (Fair Vote BC)
Sheldon Falk (BC Federation of Students, NISU)
For free tickets click here
Come and find out how you can get involved in the Fair Vote Comox Valley campaign.
This campus map will help: https://www2.viu.ca/map.
Fish farm activists:
Questions: if you are inside and get to ask a question, Alex Morton recommends that this one is key.