March 21, 2016 - 3:03pm
Blue Planet Project founder Maude Barlow was in Paris, France today to present a blue community certificate to deputy mayor Celia Blauel.
Barlow stated, “We applaud Paris for taking the bold new step to protect water as a commons by becoming a Blue Community today. The global water crisis is getting more serious by the day and it is being made worse by the corporate theft and abuse of water. Becoming a Blue Community like Paris has today is a critical step toward the stewardship of water locally and globally that we need now and for future generations."
A 'blue community' is a municipality (or university, church, First Nation or association) that adopts a framework that:
- recognizes water as a human right
- prevents the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events
- promotes publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services.
On March 22, 2011, Burnaby, British Columbia became the first blue community in Canada. On September 18, 2013, Bern, Switzerland became the first international blue community. And on January 12, 2015, Tsal'alh, St’át’imc Territory became the first Indigenous blue community. The University of Bern and the Evangelisch-reformierte Kirchgemeinde Bern-Johannes Church have also become blue communities.
The largest blue communities in this country are Burnaby (population 223,220), St. Catharines (131,990), Ajax, (109,600), Thunder Bay (108,359), and North Vancouver (84,412). All together, there are now 1,034,515 people in Canada who live in communities recognized as blue communities. Internationally, there is now Paris (population 2.244 million), Bern (130,015) and Cambuquira (13,299) for a total of 2,387,314 people.
When Barlow presented the first European blue community certificate in Switzerland, she said, "It is my fervent hope that your undertaking today will be the beginning of a European-wide movement that will one day reach across the whole world."
That hope now appears to be coming true.
The Blue Communities Project is a joint initiative of the Blue Planet Project, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Council of Canadians. This project builds on nearly two decades of Water Watch work in coalition with many other groups to protect and promote public water.
To learn more about our Blue Communities Project, and to see a complete listing of blue communities, please go to our campaign web-page here;http://canadians.org/bluecommunities
Tomorrow, Barlow will be speaking on the right to water at Université Paris-Dauphine.
Brent Patterson's bloghttp://canadians.org/blog/win-paris-becomes-blue-community