To have the cleanest tap water possible, the Mike Harris government has announced stricter regulations governing the testing of the Ontario water supply. This despite the fact that the testing of the water supply was the only component of the Walkerton water system that functioned properly in one of the worst outbreaks of E. coli poisoning in Canadian history. Not only did the private lab detect the E. coli bacteria in the water sample, the lab also immediately notified the municipality.
In this presentation to a Student Seminar on Public Policy Issues, held in Toronto, Ontario, in November 1997, Elizabeth Brubaker argues that remote, centralized governments, driven by political considerations and insensitive to local circumstances, are not the best guardians of the public good. Environmental problems require a diversity of solutions devised by those most affected. Good information and strong property rights give people both tools and incentives to use their resources sustainably.
In this presentation to a Student Seminar on Public Policy Issues in 1994, Elizabeth Brubaker describes the ways in which individuals and businesses use property rights to protect the environment and how, when governments take away property rights, the environment suffers.
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.
AT FIRST GLANCE Larry Solomon seems like the answer to a businessman’s prayers. An environmentalist who believes passionately in the free-market system, his call for the privatization of Crown land and public utilities has won him the praise of the conservative Fraser Institute — and the wrath of fellow environmentalists.