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Maude Barlow: “The Canadian water crisis is everybody’s problem.”

Maude Barlow is the author of 18 books and the recipient of 14 honorary doctorates and many awards for her literary and activist work. Photo by Tara Henley.

Maude Barlow, the author of 18 books and the recipient of 14 honorary doctorates and many awards for her literary and activist work, speaks at Eastminster United Church Monday. Photo by Tara Henley, QNet News

By Tara Henley [1]

BELLEVILLE – Canadians need to take action against the country’s water crisis, author-activist Maude Barlow [2] says.

“Everything that’s happening around the world to water – and believe me, it’s a crisis – is either happening here or it’s coming here,” Barlow told a crowd of over 150 concerned members of the community.

Her speech at Eastminster United Church [3] was presented in partnership with the Council of Canadians Quinte [4] and the Belleville University Women’s Club. [5]

Barlow blamed poor or nonexistent legislation regarding Canada’s freshwater and waste standards for the water crisis.

“No government has done anything nearly as damaging for our environment and water as the last government, the Harper government,” she said. “They gutted the Canadian Environmental Assessments Act [6] and the Fisheries Act [7] in 2012, dropped the National Water Protections Act [8] and declared war on science.”

She also addressed the Nestlé [9] boycott she has organized as the national chairperson of the Council of Canadians [10]. She said Nestlé, a international food and drink company, has been pumping six million litres of water per day out of Wellington County [11], despite the drought conditions southern Ontario has recently faced. The boycott has nearly 25,000 signatures from people promising to give up Nestlé bottled water or all Nestlé products entirely.

Barlow’s most recent book, Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Fight for the Right to Water, focuses on the increase of pollution in freshwater sources.

For more information on the Nestlé boycott, go to canadians.org [12].

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