Conservatives Break Promise on Bulk Water

Wednesday night`s Conservative vote to kill Bill C-267, An Act Respecting the Preservation of Canada`s Water Resources, was another example of the “Harper government” not keeping its word on a key issue affecting Canada`s environmental and economic future.

In the November, 2008, Speech from the Throne, under the inspiring title of Protecting Canada`s Future, Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised Canadians: “To ensure protection of our vital resources, our Government will bring in legislation to ban all bulk water transfers or exports from Canadian freshwater basins.”

Last night, he broke that promise.

“Since coming to power, this government has reversed its stated policies on such things as income trusts, pension protection, an end to fossil fuel subsidies, and, of course, the commitment to never allow bitumen to be refined in a place with lower standards than Canada.

“It is becoming known for its Bulk Policy Reversals,” May stated.

As Harper evidently is or was aware, Canada’s freshwater is vulnerable to bulk sales under NAFTA provisions.  Once it is deemed a “commodity,” the flood gates will be opened to export.

May was a joint seconder of Bill C-267, a major resource-protection initiative.  It was sponsored by Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis).

A second private member`s bill relating to water export is also before the House – C-383, moved by Larry Miller (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound) and joint seconded by May.

“This bill is good, but only covers the export of boundary and transboundary water,” noted May.  “I am hoping we can mount a public campaign to amend it in order to incorporate the ban on inter-basin transfer from the now defeated C-267.

“Without such a ban, Bill C-383 will only protect 10 percent of Canada’s water.”