Water as a human right

Tyler Clarke
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Renewable Power the Intelligent Choice and Council of Canadians member Nancy Carswell has her grandson Deklan Dumais, 3, cap a bottle of water full of North Saskatchewan River water last autumn -- a reminder they mailed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of what’s at risk with tar sand development and pipeline expansion.

Local Council of Canadians chapter asking city council for a “Blue Community” designation

The Council of Canadians’ annual push for Prince Albert to become a designated “Blue Community” will take place at today’s city council meeting.

The current and previous city councils have consistently rejected the proposal due in large part to its required ban on the sale of single-use bottled water.

This time around, presenter Nancy Carswell has a potential solution.

The City of Prince Albert could sell reusable water bottles at city events, with municipal facilities hosting water fountains that can re-fill them, she suggested.

“The money from selling the re-sellable water bottles solves the problem of the huge carbon footprint that’s associated with bottled water,” she said, adding that tap water is often more healthy than bottled water anyway, with the reverse osmosis process stripping it of healthy minerals.

Aside from that, Carswell plans on repeating some points made during past presentations; namely that water should be considered a human right and should be a publicly financed, owned and operated service.

“As soon as you bring in profits you have that race to the bottom issue around wages, employee benefits; the whole social network just gets so much more fragile,” she explained.

In fairness to the City of Prince Albert, which has invested greatly in its water treatment plant in recent years, there’s currently very little risk of its privatization.

Carswell hopes to see city council do more than “receive and file” her presentation on Monday as they’ve done in the past -- a motion that’s the equivalent of “no.”

@TylerClarkePA • tclarke@paherald.sk.ca


“Blue Community” requirements

• Recognizing water as a human right.

• Banning the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events (where water is available).

• Promoting publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services.

Organizations: Prince Albert

Geographic location: Prince Albert

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