“It is unconscionable that a country like Canada, with the benefit of an abundance of water, could be speaking out against the [water] rights of others.”
World-renowned Bolivian activist Oscar Olivera points out the hypocrisy of Canada's disgraceful position on water rights before a presentation to the UN last month.
Bottled water has become a little harder to swallow for those concerned about the commodification of H2O. A Toronto-based outfit,WaterthatWorks, has come up with what it calls a "refreshing concept" - selling customized ads on bottled water.The company's website promises to put an advertiser's message into the palm of consumers' hands, on water provided free by bottlers. Company prez Geoff Simonetta says water bottles already carry ads - the name of the brands themselves."There's no such thing as a bottle of water without advertising." Sounds like just another way to market an industry that already has zero regulation.
In the swim - sort of
Toronto's in the swim.At least our 10 beaches have been open more often so far this year, closed a total of 98 days compared to 218 at this time last year.However,Sunnyside Beach, Marie Curtis Beach and to a lesser extent Bluffer's and Rouge beaches remain problems, closed roughly a quarter of the time in June and July this year. E. coli levels of up to 10 times the allowable limit have been registered at these beaches.The real damper? Only four beaches (Hanlan's,Wards, Cherry and Woodbine) fly the Blue Flag, signifying that E. coli is at acceptable levels 80 per cent of the time. There's still lotsa work to do here.
Quay To The City is supposed to open residents'minds to what our waterfront could look like in a greener future.Two eastbound lanes will be closed on Queens Quay and transformed into a linear park for the 10-day event,August 11-20. A temporary sculpture-lined connection to the Martin Goodman Trail will be part of the display. But all that those living in the condos fronting the water can think of is how the hell they're going to get their Benzes into their air-conditioned garages if the street is closed. No worries. Paid duty officers will be on-site to wave them through.Too bad residents who stand to gain most from waterfront revitalization see this project as a nuisance.
No doubt the province's recently announced program to award cold, hard cash to energy savers will yield huge power dividends. Those who enrolled in Toronto Hydro's PeakSaver effort got their $25 cheques in the mail last week. So why isn't Toronto following suit with a cash incentive program to conserve water? The city offers rebates for low-flow toilets. Shouldn't we be thinking of ways to take pressure of the system instead of saddling residents with rate increases of 62 per cent over the next 10 years?