Friday, September 26, 2008

Council Of Canadians Calls For Compact Correction

Sep 24: Canada's largest citizens’ organization, the Council of Canadians, issued a release, "demanding that the Canadian government intervene to secure an amendment to the Great Lakes Compact which has now received approval of both the U.S. House and Senate [See WIMS 9/23/08]. The organization is calling for an elimination of the loophole that would grant bottled water corporations unlimited access to Great Lakes water in 20 litre [actually 5.7 gallons] containers. Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians said, “Although we welcome the Compact’s ban on diversions through pipelines and other means, the bottled water exception is a gaping hole that would undermine the agreement’s ability to truly protect the Great Lakes. In remaining silent on this issue, the Harper government has abdicated its responsibility to protect the Great Lakes and the Canadian public interest.”

The Council said while the Compact sets out to prevent diversions from the Great Lakes, the definition of diversions does not apply to water as a “product” and they are concerned about the trade implications of this definition. Meera Karunananthan, national water campaigner for the Council of Canadians said, “Once their access to Great Lakes water is entrenched in the Compact, it will be difficult to regulate corporations taking water out of the Great Lakes in containers because they will be further protected in international trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement.”

Access a release from the Council (
click here).