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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com