It was a packed room at the Rodd Charlottetown last night to hear Maude Barlow, Chair of the Council of Canadians, and Reg Phalen, organic farmer and member of the National Farmers’ Union, John Joe Sark, and biologist Daryl Guignion speak. CBC reported 200 but it was actually closer to 300.
Maritime News from last night:
about 5:45 into the broadcast.
Earlier in the day, Maude spoke with the media about the issue of high capacity wells and the formation of the Coalition:
4:45 into the broadcast
Keptin John Joe Sark spoke first about the importance of water and presented an eagle feather to both Maude and to Leo Broderick. Reg and Daryl each spoke after that (I can summarize their thoughts another day soon).
The author of several books, including the most recent Blue Future, Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever,Maude has seen water issues in many parts of the world. She talked about the “myth of abundance” and that “lifting the moratorium would be the worst thing that could happen to PEI.”
She said this is a “watershed moment” that can lead to a province-wide Water Act, based on a “water ethic”:
(reporting errors are my own):
1) Water is a human right — there is an obligation to prevent third party destruction of water sources.
2) Water is a public trust, with a “hierarchy of use” being made, and government as the trustee (“Don’t laugh,” she said. “It is working in other parts of the world.”)
3) Water has rights, too — important to keep the Precautionary Principle in mind (basically, if it could cause harm, don’t do it)
4) Water can teach us how to live together. Like other scarce resources, it can be the source of conflict, violence, war, but also turned into water being a peacemaker (she gave examples).
At the end of a long but very pleasant day, Maude Barlow, Leo Cheverie and Cindy Richards, February 26, 2014.
A huge wave of appreciation to Leo Broderick, vice chair of the Council of Canadians, who along with many volunteers made the day’s events happen.
And what can people do now?:
- attend, if you can, the Standing Committee meeting today where the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water will present its submission calling for the moratorium to stay in place. 1:30PM (the Coalition is presenting after a committee welcome and a greeting by Keptin John Joe Sark, so probably between 1:50 and 2:30PM). Coles Building, Richmond Street, next to Province House.
- write a letter to your MLA List is here: http://assembly.pe.ca/index.php3?number=1024555&lang=E
- and send it to the papers: