Why now? Is the Water Strategy being done for industries like Energy East, Sisson Mine, massive forest clearcutting, and shale gas fracking?
Council of Canadians - Fredericton chapter went to the last of (six) Stakeholder's Meetings for the Water Strategy process. They delivered a clear message to the Brian Gallant government - Halt the Water Strategy process until you can properly answer these 9 questions (see list at end of article).
Here is the YouTube of the presentation of these questions (starting at 2:00 of the video):
NOTE: At 6:34 minutes of the video, the representative from the Premier's Office, Michael Pearson speaks up and tells the Environment & Local Government Deputy Minister Kelli Simmons "Don't answer those questions." Mr. Pearson is the Director of Strategic Planning Section, Office of the Premier, and is listed in the Government Employee Directory (gnb.ca) as the only employee in this section.
CALL TO ACTION: The New Brunswick Government has set up an e-mail and questionnaire to receive feedback on their Water Strategy process. We call on citizens, groups, and Indigenous people in New Brunswick to call for a halt to the this current Water Strategy process. Please tell the government that this is a strategy not to conserve and protect water, but it is a strategy to allocate water. We only want one thing: a halt to the process. Our water is not yours to destroy or sell!
9 QUESTIONS that MUST be answered before this Water Strategy process can continue:
1. Did you invite the legitimate representatives of the Indigenous Nations to this workshop (e.g. Wolastoq Grand Council)?
2. Why are you not following the findings of the Ombudsman? (to implement existing water classification for our rivers)
3. Why now? What are the problems this is trying to address?
4. Why the rush? Why engage in public consultation less than 2 weeks from the release of the Water Strategy discussion paper?
5. Why are we spending all of this time and money on developing a water strategy when that work has already been done and recognized as a world-class strategy?
- 25 years
- millions of dollars
- tens of thousands of volunteer hours
- requisite work completely on a minimum of 4 watersheds
6. Are we fixing a problem that doesn't exist?
7. If this is not meant to replace the existing water classification, then what exactly is it meant to do?
8. Why is over 50% of our drinking water (private wells and rivers) not covered by comprehensive water quality protection such as water classification?
9. Why would we do away with river insect larvae sampling when this is a widely-used, scientifically-accepted method, and a community-based and cost-effective approach, to detect point source and non-point source pollution?