Monthly Archives: November 2013

Blue Planet Committee Update

In May, 2013 Council of Canadians Thunder Bay Chapter (CoC TBay Chapter) members and supporters formed a Blue Planet committee to promote access to safe, clean water as a human right and the protection of our lakes and waterways and to challenge the bottled water industry. The committee chose a Blue Communities Project as its first initiative.

Back to the Tap

Back to the Tap

The Blue Communities Project is a joint initiative of the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) designed to help citizens, organizations and local leaders protect and conserve our shared water resources. In order for Thunder Bay to become a Blue Community, City Council must adopt three resolutions that: recognize access to safe, clean water as a human right; promote publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater infrastructure and ban (phase out) bottled water in municipal buildings and at municipal events. Our Committee is actively garnering political and public support and on Lake Superior Day, we launched our ‘No to Bottled Water – Yes to Superior’ Campaign. The Back to the Tap sub-committee is partnering with EcoSuperior to give presentations to high schools students; to book a presentation for your group or organization contact Ann at

In August, 2013 we were one of three organizations in the Canadian Great Lakes Basin chosen to participate in the Freshwater Alliance’s Great Lakes Mentorship Program. The goal is for participants to become leaders in creative engagement and communication while working on freshwater projects. The 4-month program involves one-on-one mentorship and in-person training sessions, small group webinars and peer learning circles.

Our Blue Planet Committee anticipates our participation in the Mentorship Program will further our Blue Community initiative and help us become a better ally to First Nations communities and organizations as we campaign for safe, clean water for everyone. Thirty First Nations communities in Northern Ontario are under ‘boil water’ advisories due to contamination and inadequate water and wastewater services. Faced with a host of health issues, many rely on bottled water shipped at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. The Council of Canadians is calling for the recognition of access to safe, clean water as a human right, legislation that sets standards and monitors drinking water quality and safety and public funding of water and waste water infrastructure with local management.

Join the growing movement for public water. Contact Janice at

Blue Planet Logo

General Meeting – Wednesday Nov. 20th

General Meeting Poster, Nov. 20 2013

Click here to download the Nov. 20th General Meeting Poster

Coming Together to Defend our Climate and our Community

The message was clear at today’s community climate change rally: we need to work together in the fight against climate change. And the first step to working together is coming together which is exactly what 100 people did at Hillcrest Park from 1-2 pm. Community members, Citizens United for a Sustainable Planet (CUSP), the Thunder Bay Chapter of Council of Canadians, Thunder Bay Leadnow, Thunder Bay Idle No More, and politicians Bruce Hyer and Andrew Foulds were all part of the crowd that gathered to show their concern about climate change and to take action.

People gathered at the Climate Rally at Hillcrest Park, November 16th 2013

People gathered at the Climate Rally at Hillcrest Park, November 16th 2013

The Thunder Bay rally was themed around climate superheroes that defend our community against climate change. The Pipe-Cleaner, also known as Natalie Gerum and the event organizer, was one of the many dressed-up superheroes that showed up. “The purpose of today is for Thunder Bay to join a national day of action called Defend our Climate, Defend our Communities,” explained Natalie.

The event was part of a larger movement that took place from coast to coast today. Over 130 communities across Canada gathered to show opposition to reckless pipeline projects, tar sands expansion, and runaway gas emissions that is changing our climate. With government decisions on pipelines expected in the coming months, this nation-wide day of action was organized to send a clear message.

Erin Bottle from Mishkeegogamang First Nation had a very strong voice today as she sung traditional songs calling on our human family to unite in this time of crisis. “I came here to support love, to support humanity and to bring a strong message that to protect this Earth we have to work together,” said Erin. “We have to put down our fear and misunderstanding of each other to learn from each other and respect each other. All Nations have gifts, all Nations have strength, and together we become a strong human family.”

Erin Bottle singing at the Climate Rally

Erin Bottle singing at the Climate Rally