MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2011

Maude Barlow addresses Assembly of First Nations convention, supports First Nations calls for internationally recognized human right to water
 
Moncton, NB -- Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, addressed the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Annual General Assembly this morning, pledging her and her organization's full support for First Nations struggles for access to clean water and sanitation, which Canada and the provinces are now required by international law to provide as a human right for all peoples.
"Almost one year ago to this day, the United Nations acknowledged that water and sanitation is a fundamental human right, equal to other rights that are enforceable under international law. Even though the Harper government shamefully abstained from the vote recognizing the right to water, it is nonetheless bound by an obligation to ensure the peoples of Canada enjoy that right," said Barlow in her speech to the AFN.
"The human right to water and sanitation is being violated right here in Canada. First Nations' homes are 90 percent less likely to have running water than the homes of other Canadians," says Barlow. "The Harper government cannot hide from this fact. It is now under international obligation to redress this travesty."
 
Water is a prominent theme in resolutions to this year's AFN convention. One calls on the AFN to advocate for the application of UN General Assembly Resolution on the right to water and sanitation in Canada "as a supporting mechanism for the implementation of Indigenous Rights, Title, and Treaty Rights in Canada." Another asks that prior and pre-extinguished water rights of First Nations in British Columbia be addressed and given priority over short- and long-term water rights to third parties in First Nations' territories.
 
There is a resolution asking for a government investigation into the impacts on water of shale gas developments on First Nations lands, and another which asks the AFN to continue to support the Tsilhqot'in Nation struggle in B.C. against the proposed New Prosperity copper mine, which has been rejected once by the federal government based on independent panel findings it would have "significant adverse environmental effects on fish and fish habitat, on navigation, on the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by First Nations and on cultural heritage, and on certain potential or established Aboriginal rights or title."
"The Council of Canadians is very keen to work with the Assembly of First Nations to address the crucial issue of water and sanitation on First Nations communities across the country and to use the two historic UN resolutions recognizing the human right to drinking water and sanitation to dramatically improve the situation," said Barlow at the close of her speech. "That is why we need to work together to see justice done and ensure the dignity of clean water and sanitation to everyone in this country and around the world."
 
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More information and to arrange interviews:
Stuart Trew, Council of Canadians: (647) 222-9782; strew@canadians.org
Emma Lui, water campaigner, Council of Canadians: (613) 298-8792; elui@canadians.org

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Have your say on Draft Water Strategy!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017
by Conservation Council of New Brunswick
A Water Strategy for New Brunswick

On October 6, 2017, the department of Environment and Local Government released a draft water strategy for comments. The draft strategy is available on the government website. Comments can be submitted by email to: waterstrategy-strategiedeleau@gnb.ca or by mail to: Department of Environment and Local Government, Policy and Planning Division, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, N.B., E3B 5H1. Comments will be accepted until November 20, 2017.

In order to help groups with their submissions, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, in cooperation with watershed groups, has put together key elements of a watershed strategy and a sample letter to send to the Department.

Summary​ ​of​ ​8​ ​Key​ ​Elements​ ​of​ ​a​ ​Strong​ ​Water​ ​Protection​ ​Strategy

New​ ​Brunswick​ ​deserves​ ​a​ ​water​ ​protection​ ​strategy​ ​that:
    1. is​​ ​​science-based;​ ​(involving​ ​baseline​ ​data,​ ​tracking​ ​and​ ​taking​ ​into​ ​consideration cumulative​ ​impacts,​ ​environmental​ ​flows)
    2. sets​ ​water​ ​quality​ ​standards​ ​within​ ​a​ ​working,​ ​legal​ ​mechanism;
    3. conserves​ ​all​ ​water​ ​within​ ​​watersheds​ ​including​ ​surface​ ​waters​ ​(lakes,​ ​streams,​ ​rivers) and​ ​groundwater,​ ​by​ ​developing​ ​good​ ​conservation​ ​plans,​ ​policies​ ​and​ ​practices,​ ​and uses​ ​the​ ​precautionary​ ​principle​ ​as​ ​a​ ​guiding,​ ​legally​ ​enforceable​ ​tool;
    4. protects​ ​our​ ​marine​ ​coastal​ ​areas​ ​in​ ​law;
    5. has​ ​a​ ​meaningful​ ​form​ ​of​ ​​co-governance​ ​with​ ​First​ ​Nations;
    6. includes​ ​the​ ​development,​ ​implementation​ ​and​ ​enforcement​ ​of​ ​watershed​ ​protection plans,​ ​developed​ ​in​ ​a​ ​transparent​ ​manner,​ ​involving​ ​government,​ ​businesses,​ ​watershed organizations,​ ​farmers,​ ​municipal​ ​officials,​ ​and​ ​citizens;
    7. is​ ​accountable,​ ​which​ ​includes​ ​ongoing​ ​monitoring​ ​and​ ​annual​ ​reporting​ ​to​ ​the​ ​public​ ​on the​ ​progress​ ​of​ ​goals​ ​and​ ​objectives​ ​outlined​ ​in​ ​the​ ​water​ ​protection​ ​strategy;​ ​and,
    8. is​​ ​enforceable​ ​through​ ​a​ ​modern​ ​legal​ ​framework
Sample Letter
 My name is ______, and I am writing to express my support for a strong Water Strategy in New Brunswick.

I live near ______ OR I live in ___________ watershed

Describe your favourite spot to fish/swim/paddle etc.

Share your favourite water memory.

Clean, healthy water is important to me because _____________.

Have you recently experienced a boil water order? Blue-green algae? Extreme weather? Describe what is of concern to you.

I applaud the provincial government for moving forward on its commitment to protecting our water; however I believe the draft strategy does not go far enough to ensure healthy water for my watershed.

We need a water protection strategy that (Insert one or multiple key elements).

I am afraid that if left unattended, my watershed will face ongoing and increasing treats from (pollution, wetland and coastal estuary loss, loss of adequate environmental flow to sustain aquatic life, and increasing climate change impacts such as floods, droughts, and high temperatures.)

Please protect my watershed by implementing a strong water protection strategy with modern legislation that (note key element(s)) to ensure the health of our water and people.

Thank you,
Your name.

For more information, visit the CCNB's website.

Call for nominations for the NBEN Awards - 2017

Monday, 31 July 2017
by Annika Chiasson
Every day people and environmental groups take action to protect and restore New Brunswick’s environment.  

Over this past year, who stands out in your mind? 

We invite you to nominate a group or individual deserving of one of the NBEN awards which will be presented in style at Eco-Confluence 2017.  Send an e-mail to nben@nben.ca describing your nominee’s work.  Nominees must be members or associates of the NBEN*.

Nomination deadline is September 13, 2017.

*Current NBEN Steering Committee members are not eligible for awards.