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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Action Alerts

ACTION ALERT: Reinstate funding to the Canadian Environmental Network

Friday, 03 February 2017
by Raissa Marks
The Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks need your help!

Historically, the Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks including the NBEN received annual core funding from the Government of Canada. This was used to facilitate networking on environmental issues across the country, coordinate national and provincial issue-based caucuses, coordinate ENGO participation in federal public consultation processes, and maintain open lines of communication between ENGOs and the federal government.

In 2011, as part of the across-the-board cuts to civil society organizations by the previous federal government, all federal funding to the RCEN and its provincial affiliate networks was cut. This left the national network and most of the affiliates with functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work.

There is hope that the current government will provide for renewed funding in its upcoming budget. This funding is crucial for the survival of the national network and many of the provincial affiliate networks. A proposal has been submitted. It now needs strong and immediate support from environmental groups and individuals across the country.

This is where you come in!

Please take a few minutes to write to Prime Minister Trudeau and your MP telling them why you value the RCEN, your provincial affiliate network, or environmental networking at the national level in general. Feel free to use the template letter provided below. You can personalize it based on your experience or simply copy and paste.

Trudeau’s email is justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca and you can find your MP’s email here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members

Let’s show our federal politicians that a strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada!

Draft Template Letter:

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing to ask that annual core funding to the Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) be reinstated.

Historically, the RCEN provided a crucial link between environmental groups across the country, both large and small. This link was vital in helping communities address environmental issues right across the country and ensuring a robust approach to the development of environmental policy in Canada.

Since funding was cut in 2011, the RCEN and most of its provincial affiliate networks have been functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work. This is not acceptable. A strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada. I urge you to reinstate core funding for this crucial work immediately.

Sincerely,

Still Time to Submit Comments - Snowmobile Trail Development up Mount Carleton

Monday, 21 November 2016
by Roberta Clowater, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - New Brunswick Chapter
You can still send in your comments until end of day Nov 21 (Monday) on the environmental assessment report about the proposed snowmobile trail at Mount Carleton Provincial Park. If you're not sure what to say, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - NB Chapter has summarized some of our key messages here: http://cpawsnb.org/images/upload/key_messages_EIA.pdf

Please send comments or questions to: lynn.white@gnb.ca or mail to: Lynn White, Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1.