Important new report on the Great Lakes

The Council of Canadians released a new report on World Water Day outlining a critical plan to protect the great lakes.

See the report here

About the report from the Council of Canadians' website:

Our Great Lakes Commons: A People’s Plan to Protect the Great Lakes Forever is an in-depth report about the critical importance of forging a new future for the Great Lakes watershed, which provides life and livelihood to more than 40 million people in Canada and the United States, as well as thousands of species that live around it.

Written by Maude Barlow, the paper is intended to serve as a background and a call to understanding and action on a new proposal to designate the Great Lakes and its tributary waters as a lived Commons, to be shared, protected, carefully managed and enjoyed by all who live around them.

CUPE Nova Scotia President Says Nestle Waters Canada Exploiting World Water Day

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - March 22, 2011) - CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh is joining a chorus of water activists who say Nestlé Waters Canada, a private water company, is exploiting World Water Day for profit.

CUPE says the company issued a press release alerting the media that company executive John Challinor II will be accepting calls from the press on World Water Day (today) to talk about the company's "policies on water management and conservation."

The Inside the Bottle coalition – which CUPE is a part of – is encouraging its supporters to call John Challinor II today and let him know that water is not something that can be bought and sold for profit.

World Water Day Statement from the Water Justice Movement March 22, 2011

On World Water Day 2011, with water justice activists around the world mobilizing to assert the right to water and sanitation for people and communities, to preserve water as part of an ecological trust and to ensure that water is democratically controlled by the people in the public interest, we issue this short statement to reflect on both recent victories towards implementation the right to water as well as the challenges and threats that remain ahead.

We are heartened by passage this past year of two resolutions within the UN system that have further affirmed the right to water and the obligations governments must fulfill to uphold this right. The first resolution, passed in July 2010 in the UN General Assembly was championed by leading countries in Latin America, including Bolivia, as well as other countries in the global South, and its passage marked the first time this body had gone on record formally acknowledging the right to water and sanitation.

Action Alert!

The Swiss multinational Nestlé wants to extend its Permit to Take Water with the Ontario Provincial Government. The company currently has permission from the Province of Ontario to take 3.6 million litres of water from an aquifer near Guelph to bottle its Pure Life Brand of bottled water. It is now asking the province to extend this permit for 10 years!!!!!!!!!

We need your help to stop this from happening.

Please send your comments to the Ontario Provincial Government directly via email to:

You can also mail your comments to:

West Central Region
Permit to take Water Evaluator
Ministry of Environment
Operations Division
West Central Regional Office
119 King Street West
Floor 12
Hamilton, Ontario.

Provide your own comments or copy and paste the following sample:
(adapted from the Wellington Water Watchers Submission

I am opposed to the renewal of this Permit To Take Water for the following reasons:

Thousands Mark Canada’s Second Bottled Water Free Day

For immediate release

OTTAWA ––Today, people across Canada and around the world are marking the second Bottled Water Free Day.

“Canadians are rejecting the privatization of public water resources and pledging to toss the bottle and go back to the tap,” said Paul Moist, national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “While Bottled Water Free Day started in Canada last year, this year it has spread to five continents.”

Organized by the Canadian Federation of Students, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Sierra Youth Coalition, Polaris Institute, and Development and Peace, Bottled Water Free Day aims to raise awareness about the negative impacts of bottled water and the need to defend public water resources and infrastructure.

“Across the country students are standing up for public water,” added Shelley Melanson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “A dozen campuses have already banned the bottle and brought back the tap.”

Despite Nestlé's behest, the City of London decides not to repeal Bottled Water ban!

For Immediate Release

March 1, 2011

Last night the City of London upheld its commitment to promoting public drinking water by rejecting pressure from the bottled water industry to rescind its 2008 bottled water ban. Dozens of municipalities, universities, colleges and school boards across Canada have taken similar steps to provide accessible drinking water in facilities, promote the quality of municipal drinking water, and phase out the bottle.

New Polaris Institute report about the prospects for an electric car industry in Canada in the age of climate change

February 10, 2011 - A new report is being released today by the Polaris Institute called, “Electric Car Report: What are the prospects for an electric car industry in Canada and is this a real or false solution for climate change.” The report contributes to the ongoing discussion about the greening of automobiles by highlighting how Canada could become a production centre for electric vehicles and raising important questions about the role of electric vehicles in mitigating climate change.

You can access the report here

For questions and inquiries please contact:

Richard Girard, 613 237-1717 ext 105

Excerpt from the introduction:

Bottled Water Kicked-out of Canadian Campuses: ten post-secondary campuses commit to protect public water

For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bottled Water Kicked-out of Canadian Campuses: ten post-secondary campuses commit to protect public water

Kingston, ON—Grades from 2010 are in, and bottled water received an “F” on Canadian campuses. Students, staff and faculty are demanding an end to the sale of privatized bottled water on Canadian campuses and are asking college and university administrations to instead promote investment in accessible public water infrastructure.

“Campus cash-ins by companies on bottled water are expiring,” said Water Access Group Member Professor Steven Moore. “Queen’s University became the tenth Canadian post-secondary institute to commit to end the sale and distribution of bottled water on campus, sending the industry a clear message that campuses are backing the tap.”

Tony Clarke Debates Nestlé Waters Executive

Polaris Institute Executive Director Tony Clarke is participating in an online debate with Nestlé Waters Canada executive John Challinor.

Check out the debate and vote here!

The result that emerges from Cancun COP16: Climate in the Hands of Wild Capitalism

Elizabeth Peredo Beltrán

, Bolivia - For many, the Cancun Accord is a positive outcome, probably because they would rather maintain the sense that "something came out of it" than analyze the contents and consequences of the most recent climate change conference.

 For those of us who identify with the principles of climate justice and the contents of the People's Agreement of Cochabamba, it is a text that is essentially the same as the Copenhagen Accord. It leaves ambiguous the most vital aspects of what a climate agreement must do based on science and the need for equity - one of the most pressing causes highlighted by the climate crisis.