Statement on World Water Day 2016

(OTTAWA) March 22, 2016 – The Green Party of Canada released the following statement on World Water Day:

“Today we join with the United Nations in bringing attention to the critical importance of freshwater on our environment and ecosystems, and we vigorously defend the need to sustainably manage these resources,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich – Gulf Islands).

“The Great Lakes, which hold 84 percent of North America’s surface freshwater, are at risk. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has demanded more information on a proposal for a nuclear waste burial site on the shores of Lake Huron.This toxic threat cannot be permitted to proceed. We continually threaten our streams, lakes and rivers through pollution, development and toxic dumping. Instead, we need to honour Canada’s invaluable water supply by protecting it with the most stringent environmental standards and by ensuring access for everyone.”

The UN designated March 22 as World Water Day in 1993. This year’s theme is Water and Jobs.

Lorraine Banville, Green Party Water Critic and oceanographer, said: “On World Water Day, it is important to remember that although Canada is one of the most water-rich countries, we continue to pollute and to use this resource as if it were inexhaustible. Climate change adds a major threat to this precious resource. It is essential we bring forward better environmental practices and strong legislation to ensure the sustainability and availability of water for all Canadians.

Ms. Banville continued: “This year, the U.N. has chosen the theme of Water and Jobs to mark World Water Day. Water is at the heart of our vitality as well as our economic development. Some industries require excessive pristine water in the manufacturing process, particularly for electronics. By minimizing the consumption and replacement of electronics, Canadians can make a difference in the fight to protect our freshwater.”