Maude Barlow speaks to full house

Maude Barlow speaking about protecting the water of PEI
Maude Barlow speaking about protecting the water of PEI

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:
  • and send it to the papers:
  • The Guardian

    The Eastern (and West Prince)Graphic
    The Journal-Pioneer


February 26th, 2014

Regarding water issues and especially the high capacity wells, there are three events happening in the next two days that you are most welcome to attend:

  • the first is a press conference with Maude Barlow, the Council of Canadians, and the Coalition today, Wednesday, February 26th, at 11AM, at the Rodd Charlottetown (Provinces Room).  Corner of Kent and Pownal in Charlottetown.  There will be people there from many of the groups on the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water. Boyd Allen will be representing the Coalition (see statement, below), and Cindy Richards on behalf of the Citizens’ Alliance.
  • Maude Barlow (Council of Canadians Chair, and author of many books), biologist Daryl Guignion and organic farmer Reg Phalen are part of a forum on water issues tonight, 7PM, Rodd Charlottetown. It’s co-sponsored by the Council of Canadians and the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water, and emceed by Catherine O’Brien.  Definitely be a great public event you can tell others about, if they don’t know about it already.
  • Thursday afternoon (1:30PM) is a government standing committee meeting, where the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water will be presenting a submission. Catherine O’Brien and Boyd Allen will be representing the Coalition.  **People in the Gallery (the seating at one side of the room) really make an impact on the Committee as far as gauging public interest**, if you can be there at all, even for ten or 15 minutes.   It is in the Pope Room of the Coles Building. The Coles Building is the pretty old block building to the other side of Province House (Confed Centre on the other side).   You go up the stairs to the main floor and check in with a concierge, and go down the hall to the Pope Room, where there are chairs for the “gallery” (spectators).  We will likely be speaking at about 1:45-2PM or so for a half hour or so. (People can come and go as their schedules allow.)

And, if you live in the Brackley area, tonight is the public meeting with Minister Vessey about plans to move the “government garage” from Riverside Drive by the Civic Centre and the Wendy’s/Tim’s to a piece of land that was a 100-acre farm just outside Charlottetown city limits on Route 15.  If you want to decide for yourself if this is a good use of government money and farmland, I believe it is at the Brackley Community Centre tonight.