The Story of Bottled Water
“The Story of Bottled Water, released on March 22, 2010 (World Water Day) employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. Over five minutes, the film explores the bottled water industrys attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces. The film concludes with a call to take back the tap, not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water, but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all.”
Bolivian Ambassador, Pablo Solon’s Speech: “The Human Right to Water and Sanitation” New York, July 28, 2010
Before moving to the consideration of this resolution, I would like to ask all delegations to bear in mind the fact that, according to the 2009 report of the World Health Organization and UNICEF entitled “Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done,” 24,000 children die in developing countries every day from preventable causes like diarrhea contracted from unclean water. That is one child death every three and a half seconds.
One, two, three…
As my people say, “Now is the time.”
RBCs Blue Water Problem
1 page flyer outlining RBC’s financing in the tar sands and its impact on water quality.
FILM: The Water Walkers
Anishinabe women from Thunder Bay, Ontario are walking the perimeters of the Great Lakes in order to raise awareness about water issues like conservation, pollution and privatization. Walking an average of 40 miles a day, the women pick up supporters and meet with concerned people and activists as they go. Their message is simple: They want future generations to have clean water to drink. The Water Walkers will walk around Lake Erie in the summer of 2007.
Canadian Perspectives Magazine, August 2009, We Won!
Victory at Site 41 Shows There Is No Water to Waste By Mark Calzavara
BOILING POINT PUBLICATION
May 22, 2008 – Today Phil Fontaine, the National Chief of the AFN, Tony Clarke, the Executive Director of Polaris Institute and the Canadian Labour Congress released a publication on the water crisis facing First Nation communities in Canada. Boiling Point, written by the Polaris Institute, showcases 6 First Nation communities that have and continue to face water crises including contaminated source, well and tap water and long-standing boil water advisories.
“The crisis in our communities is untenable,” the National Chief Phil Fontaine noted. “In a country like Canada — that has the most fresh water in the world — to have First Nation communities struggle on a daily basis to provide their citizens with healthy water for drinking and clean water for bathing is completely unacceptable.”
“The shocking and deplorable conditions of First Nation communities being denied access to safe, clean drinking water is similar to what I have witnessed myself in Mexico, India, South Africa and other Third World countries,” said Tony Clarke of the Polaris Institute and author of several books on water. “Water is a basic human right and Boiling Point should be a wake-up call for people across Canada to demand concerted action from our governments now.”
Hassan Yussuff, Secretary Treasurer for the Canadian Labour Congress commented, “Canadians expect a swift response anytime they face a boil water advisory of the public water system, yet nearly 100 First Nation communities live with these advisories on a daily basis, and in some cases endure tainted, polluted and utterly undrinkable water for years— this is nothing less than a fundamental violation of what should be a basic human right.”
Boiling Point provides a critical review of the ongoing lack of progress and action on the part of government in providing safe drinking water to First Nation communities. The six profiles are only a small sample of the ongoing struggles many First Nation communities face in Canada. The Polaris Institute and the Canadian Labour Congress join the Assembly of First Nations in challenging the federal government to implement long-term solutions based on equality and respect to ensure access to safe drinking water, source water and sanitation.
UN HUMAN RIGHTS WEBSITE – THE RIGHT TO WATER – GENERAL COMMENT NO. 15
DENYING THE SOURCE, The Crisis of First Nations Water Rights by Merrell-Ann S. Phare
From The Publisher (Rocky Mountain Books, Surrey, BC 2009 ISBN978-1-897522-61-5)
First Nations are facing some of the worst water crises in Canada and throughout North America. Their widespread lack of access to safe drinking water receives ongoing national media attention, and yet progress addressing the causes of the problem is painfully slow. First Nations have had little say in how their waters are, or are not, protected. They have been excluded from many important decisions, as provinces operate under the view that they own the water resources within provincial boundaries, and the federal government takes a hands-off approach.
The demands for access to waters that First Nations depend upon are intense and growing. Oil and gas, mining, ranching, farming and hydro-development all require enormous quantities of water, and each brings its own set of negative impacts to the rivers, lakes and groundwater sources that are critical to First Nations. Climate change threatens to make matters even worse.
Over the last 30 years, the courts have clarified that First Nations have numerous rights to land and resources, including the right to be involved in decision-making. This book is a call to respect the water rights of First Nations, and through this create a new water ethic in Canada and beyond.
REPORT OF THE EXPERT PANEL ON SAFE DRINKING WATER FOR FIRST NATIONS
‘We are pleased to present to you our report on options for regulating water quality in First Nations communities. We hope that our analysis will assist the federal government and its First Nations partners in crafting a regulatory strategy that will build on the traditional stewardship role of First Nations, both to improve water safety and to help preserve the quality of all waters in Canada.”— Harry Swain (Chair), Stan Louttit and Steve Hrudey
CIER – CENTRE FOR INDIGENOUS ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES ONLINE LIBRARY – WATER
Approximately 20 different articles on Water.
www.cier.ca > Information & Resources > CIER Library > Water
SEEKING WATER JUSTICE REPORT – STRENGTHENING LEGAL PROTECTION FOR CANADA’S DRINKING WATER (by ecojustice, FLOW & CIER)
I would like to bring your attention to a new report, Seeking Water Justice: Strengthening Legal Protection for Canada’s Drinking Water, authored by Ecojustice, the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW) and the Centre for Indigenous and Environmental Resources (CIER).
The report highlights the status of drinking water quality in Canada and reveals that certain communities in Canada – specifically rural and First Nations – have fewer policies and regulations to protect their drinking water from contamination. Risks are attributed to inadequate infrastructure, patchwork provincial laws, and a lack of binding drinking water standards from the federal government. Unlike the United States and European Union, Canada does not have legally binding national standards for drinking water. Instead, we have voluntary national guidelines and provinces establish their own standards which may or may not meet those guidelines.
Endorsed by the Assembly of First Nations and the National Specialty Society for Community Medicine, the report calls for all levels of government to be involved in the provision of safe drinking water to Canadians. The authors identify gaps in the system and outlines steps for the federal government to take to ensure all Canadians, including First Nations, are legally entitled to a minimum quality of drinking water. These steps include:
- Legislate enforceable drinking water protection across Canada – collaborate will all levels of government to adopt legally binding national standards into their own legislation. A federal Safe Drinking Water Act would act as a safety net that would apply on federal lands and in provinces that did not provide the same level of health protection as the national standards.
- Enact world-class drinking water standards – ensure Canadian drinking water standards are equal to or better than the highest standards in other industrialized nations.
- Provide resources for safe drinking water on first nations reserves – provide resources, support and capacity development required for safe drinking water on federal lands and all First Nations reserves that would enable them to implement national standards and regulations.
- Increase the transparency of reporting on the state of drinking water systems – establish consistent and standard reporting mechanisms.
For more information, please visit www.flowcanada.org or contact Nancy Goucher at email@example.com
Link to the full report: http://www.flowcanada.org/document/252
BILL S-11, AN ACT RESPECTING THE SAFETY OF DRINKING WATER ON FIRST NATIONS LANDS
May 26, 2010 first reading – “This enactment addresses health and safety issues on reserve lands and certain other lands by providing for regulations to govern drinking water and waste water treatment in first nations communities. Regulations could be made on a province-by-province basis to mirror existing provincial regulatory regimes, with adaptations to address the circumstances of first nations living on those lands.”
BACKGROUNDER – SAFE DRINKING WATER FOR FIRST NATIONS ACT
The Government of Canada has introduced a bill in Parliament to address the regulatory gap that exists for First Nation communities when it comes to safeguarding their drinking water. This proposed legislation follows from the recommendations made by the Office of the Auditor General , the Expert Panel on Safe Drinking Water for First Nations and the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples .
The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act would allow for the development of federal regulations for drinking water and wastewater. These regulations would apply in First Nation communities. Since provinces and territories have existing regulations governing drinking water and wastewater, the federal government would review these provincial and territorial regulations to identify areas that can be adapted into federal regulations, while at the same time, allowing for regional differences, and recognizing the unique water challenges facing many First Nation communities.
The proposed bill would:
- provide First Nation communities with drinking water and wastewater standards comparable to provincial or territorial standards off reserves;
- provide more opportunities for First Nation communities and municipalities to work together in areas such as training and sharing systems;
- establish a common base to evaluate the effectiveness of the operation, design and maintenance of water and wastewater systems; and
- allow for regional flexibility, as federal regulations could vary from province to province and territory to territory.
While legislation for drinking water and wastewater has been developed in provinces and territories, legislation governing drinking water and wastewater in First Nation communities does not currently exist. Although the federal government has a Protocol for Safe Drinking Water for First Nation Communities which sets out clear standards for the design, operation and maintenance of drinking water systems, and the Procedure Manual for Safe Drinking Water in First Nations Communities based on the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (GCDWQ), there is no legislative framework to ensure compliance with the protocol.
The federal government has maintained an open dialogue on safe drinking water and wastewater issues within First Nation communities, by engaging with First Nations on viable options for a regulatory regime and on the development of a legislative framework.
From May to July 2008, departmental officials, in collaboration with Health Canada, met with regional First Nation organizations, Assembly of First Nations officials, as well as provincial/territorial officials, in order to prepare for future engagement sessions on a legislative framework.
From February 2009 to March 2009, a series of engagement sessions took place on the proposed approach to legislation with First Nation communities, regional First Nation organizations and provincial/territorial officials. These sessions offered a forum for participants to suggest solutions and recommendations on how to best address the regulatory gap that presently exists regarding drinking water and wastewater in First Nation communities.
In fall/winter 2009-2010, the federal government met with regional First Nation Chiefs and First Nation organizations to discuss specific regional issues regarding the proposed legislative initiative. These regional issues were raised during the engagement sessions held in winter 2009, and within impact analyses and correspondence.
Once the legislation receives Royal Assent, the Government of Canada will undertake further consultations with First Nations, regional First Nation organizations, provinces and territories, and other stakeholders on the development of the federal regulatory regime.
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Legal rights: “7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.” (Note: We have the right to life…. but without water, there is no life.)