Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Water crisis calls for long-term plan, not constant cuts, says Alternative Federal Budget

[12-Mar-13] Water crisis calls for long-term plan, not constant cuts, says Alternative Federal Budget
“Most of southern Canada is losing its renewable water sources at an alarming rate, with communities facing low water levels and pollution from fracking, tar sands development, mining and other industrial projects. We are at a critical time to invest in protecting our communities’ water sources,” says Emma Lui, Water Campaigner for the Council of Canadians. “We not only need the scientific evidence from crucial programs like the ELA, but also legislation that will ensure clean water for current and future generations.”
The AFB also calls for the federal government to implement the human right to water and sanitation by allocating $2 million to reinstate the ELA, rolling back changes to environmental legislation and investing in water and wastewater infrastructure, a Great Lakes Action Plan and studies on the effects of tar sands development and fracking on water.
The AFB highlights the federal government’s two omnibudget bills, which severely weakened environmental legislation, and warns that: “The bills not only marked a troubling move that stifled democratic debate on environmental policy but also cast doubt on the government’s ability to uphold the human right to water and sanitation.”
The AFB also calls on the federal government to provide funding for water and wastewater infrastructure without requiring Public-Private Partnerships (P3s). Currently, several municipalities are considering applying to the P3 Canada Fund, which provides funding to municipalities only if they enter into an agreement with a private company. Case studies in Canada and around the world have show that P3s have resulted in price increases, job losses and decreases in water quality.

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