(DUNCAN) - Leader Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands) unveiled the Green Party’s plan to defend Canada’s water today with Green candidates Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford), and Paul Manly (Nanaimo-Ladysmith).
“Water is life. The Green Party’s vision for our water is clear: keep it, conserve it, and protect it,” said Ms. May. “We will defend Canada’s water from bulk exports, create a National Water Policy, and restore Canada’s environmental laws to protect our waterways.”
“Thanks to Stephen Harper, of the literally millions of lakes and rivers in Canada, there are now only 162 protected by legislation,” said Paul Manly. “In a minority parliament, Green MPs will make sure this sad fact is not forgotten but is remedied.”
“Protecting our water is a sacred trust,” said Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi, a former First Nations chief. “It is our responsibility to be good stewards of Canada's water. As a Green MP, I will support the protection of Shawnigan Lake, advocate for federal funding to raise the local weir to protect fish habitat in the Cowichan River, and defend Saanich Inlet from risky LNG projects.”
“I am ready to take on the important task of ensuring drinking water is safe on First Nations reserves when I am elected this fall,” said Hunt-Jinnouchi. A 2015 Council of Canadians report revealed that there are 169 drinking water advisories in 126 First Nation communities, 35 of those in BC. “It is a Canadian embarrassment that the vast majority of boil water advisories are on First Nations communities in this country. This is a health issue that must be fixed.”
Paul Manly echoed those concerns, saying, “A safe, secure, and pristine source of drinking water is key to the economic well-being of our communities. As a Green MP, I will continue to fight to have privately owned watersheds such as those in Nanaimo and Ladysmith brought under community ownership and control in order to safeguard our drinking water supplies.” Mr. Manly is well known for his film ‘Troubled Water’ which highlights the problems with private ownership of community drinking watersheds including damage and contamination from industrial, residential and recreational activities.
“The Green Party is the only party that will stand up to defend Canada’s coastlines and protect our rivers from reckless pipeline projects that could instantly destroy our fragile water supply,” concluded Ms. May.
The Green Party has pledged to:
Reverse radical changes to the Fisheries Act contained in Harper’s first omnibus bill and invest $24 million per year in wild fisheries and rivers, including small scale projects to restore and enhance wild fish stocks;
Reverse Harper’s changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act which delisted the vast majority of Canada’s lakes and rivers from protection;
Work through our Council of Canadian Governments (First Nation Communities, municipal, provincial, and federal governments) to create a National Water Policy;
Invest $800 million per year for basic infrastructure for Canada’s First Nations communities, including drinking water and adequate housing;
Continue to oppose large-scale exports (bulk exports) of our freshwater, which is threatened by the Trans-Pacific Partnership;
Support international momentum for the human right to water by establishing a national legally binding human right to basic water requirements for all Canadians (both quality and quantity); and
Increase Canadian aid for access to basic water requirements and sanitation consistent with the Millennium Development Goals.
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For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 614 4916
office: (613) 562 4916 (224)
Executive Assistant to Director of Communications
t: 613.562.4916 (200)
Toll Free 1.866.868.3447