The Sudbury chapter of the Council of Canadians held a water rally on March 20, in advance of World Water Day on March 22.
Members of the Council of Canadians and a group of concerned citizens gathered to discuss the need to protect not only Sudbury's waters, but the waters of the entire country and planet. Highlighted among the group's concers were bottled water, and keeping water treatment in the public domain.
Event organizer and Council of Canadians member Glenn Murray spoke at length about the environmental hazards posed by bottled water.
“We need to consider that three to five litres of water is wasted in filling a one litre bottle of water,” said Murray.
“You may think that drinking bottled water is a healthy choice but we're victims of a billion dollar ad campaign to convince us that bottled water is a healthy alternative to tap water or that tap water is substandard, but in actual fact the opposite is true. The bottles are made from toxic chemicals that leech into the water.”
Murray also touched on the notion that the bottles are all recycled and thus good for the environment, while noting that roughly 30 to 50 per cent of bottles are recycled and the rest go into landfills.
“These bottles take up space at landfill sites that could be used for something else or even worse, they end up back in the environment,” said Murray.
“You'll see them on the ground or in our lakes and streams.”
Sudbury Green Party nominee in the 2015 federal election David Robinson was on hand, and spoke as a concerned citizen about the lakes in and around Sudbury and the imporance of recognizing and preserving them.
“The city has been calling itself the city of lakes, but right now that name is just an ad for tourists,” said Robinson.
“You can imagine seeing it on a sign as you enter the city, but you don't see it on the mayor's desk, or the engineers' desks, or over the door at City Hall. It's kind of like the lakes are this somewhat abused elephant that someone's leading around to get credit for but no one wants to take care of. I'm surprised that the city's roads people don't have that right over their doors or on their desk because they're so keen to put this Maley Drive extension right across all the headwaters of Junction Creek, that's clearly in contradiction to any notion that this is the city of lakes.”
Murray got a rousing response from the dozen or so people on hand when he proposed that there be no bottled water at any city-owned property.
“We can start at Tom Davies Square, you see it when you go there, they have bottled water there for you when a jug of water with ice would do just fine,” said Murray.
“Here's a project that I think all Canadians can get behind, municipal waters must remain the sole property of the community, there should be no trade agreement signed that would allow any corporation or foreign nation to partake in any activity that is harmful to our water systems anywhere in Canada.”