Water Under Threat: CETA, Fracking and Water Markets


June 1, 2011 :: Maude Barlow
Moderated by Sheila Rogers

Water Under Threat: CETA, Fracking and Water Markets
Featuring Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians National Chairperson
Wednesday, June 1
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Yates Memorial Centre (1002 4 Ave S, Lethbridge)

Free admission! Everyone is welcome.

Presented by the Council of Canadians-Lethbridge Chapter and the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs

Co-sponsored by: Lethbridge Public Interest Research Group, University of Lethbridge Students' Union, Lethbridge College Students' Association

Water is vital to people’s health and livelihoods and yet our freshwater faces crises including contamination, shortages, and privatization. Canada’s water systems are under threat from a free-trade agreement being negotiated between Canada and the European Union called the Comprehensive Economic Free Trade Agreement (CETA). A recent report from CUPE and the Council of Canadians exposes how CETA would open public water systems across Canada to privatization. In Alberta, the provincial government has plans to introduce legislation to create a province-wide, deregulated water market that distributes water based on the ability of one to pay, instead of being based on environmental needs and the public interest.

Another threat to Canada’s water system is water contamination due to shale gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Fracking is a process where sand, water and chemicals are blasted into rock formations such as shale, coal beds and “tight” sands to gain access to trapped natural gas deposits. Serious health and environmental questions are being raised about the effects of fracking on groundwater, drinking water and on people’s health. The federal government and provincial governments have yet to establish regulations and safety standards that would protect people and drinking water sources.

Speaker: Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians

Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is also an executive member of the San Francisco–based International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council. Maude is the recipient of ten honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), the Citation of Lifetime Achievement at the 2008 Canadian Environment Award, and the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award. In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly. She is also the bestselling author or co-author of 16 books, including the international best seller Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water. Maude will receive an honorary degree from the University of Lethbridge during the spring convocation on June 3rd.


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