The Sale of Canadian Water to the United States: A Review of Proposals, Agreements and Policies

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A review of proposals, agreements and policies regarding large scale interbasin exports.

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Bring back our beaches

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This article, from The Next City, reviews the inadequate sewage treatment processes and the regulatory failures that have led to the closing of beaches across Canada. It documents the environmental benefits arising from the privatization of sewage treatment in England and Wales and examines the institutional changes responsible. It concludes that privatization, if done right, could clean up our beaches.

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Troubled Waters: Municipal Wastewater Pollution on the Atlantic Coast

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This report, by Martin Nantel, examines the environmental and socioeconomic effects caused by the daily discharge of 1.1 million cubic metres of treated and untreated sewage in the waters of the Atlantic region. The report also addresses governments’ failure to enforce the legislation intended to regulate sewage treatment plants and proposes a solution to alleviate sewage pollution on the East Coast. Continue reading

Municipal Wastewater Pollution in British Columbia

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This report by Martin Nantel examines the environmental damage caused by the discharge of treated and untreated sewage into B.C. waters, paying special attention to the threats posed to the Fraser River salmon. It also addresses governments’ failure to enforce the legislation intended to regulate sewage treatment plants and recommends a number of measures to alleviate sewage pollution in the province. Continue reading

Sewage plants below standard, report says

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Almost half of Quebec’s sewage-treatment plants fail to meet govern­ment requirements – a sign that dras­tic action must be taken to prevent further degradation of lakes and rivers, a report by an environmental group concludes.

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Curbing sewage pollution

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Before world leaders gathered in Halifax for June’s G-7 summit, organizers fretted over an embarrassing problem: one of the city’s sewage pipes emptied just outside the meeting site, spewing raw sewage into the otherwise scenic harbour. Worried that foreign dignitaries and journalists would smell sewage and spot floating condoms, tampon applicators and toilet paper, politicians devised a plan. Their proposal? To extend a submerged pipe into the harbour, improving the view and sparing the visitors’ noses. The federal government ended up scrapping the plan, but not because merely hiding the sewage wouldn’t solve the problem. On the contrary, it simply deemed the $1 million project too expensive.

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Preventing massive water exports

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A new book from a conservative think-tank, the Fraser Institute, overflows with essays by prominent water experts promoting the sale of Canadian water to the United States. A recent cover story in Financial Post Magazine boldly declares "Why We Should Sell Our Water to America." The World Rivers Review last year stated that a "thirty year-old plan to send wild Canadian and Alaskan waters through a series of dams, reservoirs, and canals to the U.S. Southwest has gained new momentum." And Jeffrey Simpson, a prominent Globe and Mail columnist, predicts that early in the next century the U.S. and Canada will start debating the export of our fresh water in earnest.

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