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March 14, 2011

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The Future of Water in BC

BURNABY—As a part of World Water Day activities, CUPE BC is proud to co-sponsor with the Council of Canadians, the Wilderness Committee and the Sierra Club BC a presentation by Jim Olson, one of the world’s foremost experts in the public trust doctrine.

The Government of BC is currently involved in the "Modernization of the BC Water Act", a process that has suggested the introduction of a market-based allocation system for water licenses (or a water market.) The implications of such a framework are very serious. Water-markets would essentially remove regulatory control over the allocation of water and allow for allocation priorities to be determined by a market and purchasing power. Corporate interests would be prioritized over the needs of eco-systems and the public. The current act also has a “first in time, first in right” policy that prevents the establishment of priorities for use of water in the province.

Olson, an environmental attorney based in Michigan, has been practicing and writing about environmental, water, and public trust law for over 35 years. He and his firm have been involved in a variety of state and federal court decisions, including over 30 appellate court decisions that have protected land, water, public access, parklands, wetlands, wilderness, rivers and lakes, the Great Lakes, and public trust, and that have prevented or remedied sprawl and toxic pollution. He was featured in two recent documentary films, “FLOW: For Love of Water” and “Blue Gold.”

Olson will be speaking about the public trust doctrine as an alternative to a market-based allocation system for water.

Please join us on March 24th to hear the concerns about the direction of the Water Act modernization process and learn about real alternatives that can prioritize social and ecological demands for water.

WHAT: Presentation on the future of public water in BC

WHEN: Thursday, March 24th @ 7:00 pm

WHERE: Vancouver Community College (Downtown Campus)

250 West Pender St., Room 240

(2nd floor Assembly Hall)

 This event is organized and endorsed by:

Council of Canadians [ www.canadians.org ]

Canadian Union of Public Employees - BC [ www.cupe.bc.ca ]

Wilderness Committee [ www.wildernesscommittee.org ]

Sierra Club BC [ www.sierraclub.bc.ca ]

COPE491

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