THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN OF CANADA
Prime Minister Harper Parliament Buildings Ottawa ON K1A
July 8th, 2007
Dear Prime Minister Harper,
As the newly elected President of the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) representing close to three quarters of a million Canadians from coast to coast, may I convey, with a sense of urgency, the request of our members at our 114th Annual General Meeting in Regina May 29th to June 3rd, that you be informed of their support for the development of a national water strategy.
In passing a motion of support unanimously, they are responding to significant information collected over two years during our cross- Canada Common Program on water, which built on long standing NCWC policies, such as the need for conservation of water resources, a safe drinking water act, a national river basin management policy, groundwater protection, federal action to prevent water diversions, and, continued protection and restoration of the Great Lakes ecosystem ( attached).
This important data, which clearly illuminated the many and varied threats to Canada’s water- was verified and underscored by a panel of speakers at the June 2nd AGM Plenary session. These well respected experts dealt with such issues as drought, climate change and adaptability, urbanization, pollution, water diversions, industrial abuse of water in the west, water and the law and the need for a comprehensive national water strategy.
It is this latter issue which is of critical importance if Canada is to deal effectively with the crisis facing its water. NCWC is not alone in recognizing the magnitude of our water problems, which have been with us since well before the 1987 enactment of the Federal Water Policy. Each Province and Territory, as well as many communities such as Walkerton, are struggling to find solutions, and many respected groups and individuals such as the Senate, Pollution Probe, the Sierra Club, KAIROS, Council of Canadians , Sierra Legal Defence, and Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner, are speaking out .
Therefore we feel it is increasingly important that your government take the lead immediately, and, working closely with Provincial, Territorial, First Nation, municipal governments, water experts and the Canadian public, develop such a water strategy, and ensure that this vital resource – its quantity, quality and sustainability -is protected for generations to come.
Karen Dempsey, President etc.