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March 22, 2011

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Burnaby becomes Canada’s first ‘Blue Community’

BURNABY—Burnaby City Council voted unanimously last night to adopt a resolution that affirms the City’s commitment to public water and waste water systems. The City also voted to pressure the federal government to invest in a national water infrastructure system so that all Canadians have access to safe drinking water no matter where they live.Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan receives “Blue Communities” award from CUPE’s Water Watch coordinator Robin Jane Roff and the Council of Canadians’ Elsie Dean and Elizabeth Briemberg.Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan receives “Blue Communities” award from CUPE’s Water Watch coordinator Robin Jane Roff and the Council of Canadians’ Elsie Dean and Elizabeth Briemberg.

The passage of the resolution means Burnaby becomes the first Canadian jurisdiction to receive the designation “Blue Community” from the Council of Canadians and CUPE’s Water Watch Coalition.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan accepted the award from CUPE’s Water Watch Coordinator Robin Jane Roff and the Council of Canadians’ Elsie Dean and Elizabeth Briemberg.

“This is a truly momentous occasion,” said Roff. “By adopting this resolution and becoming the country’s first Blue Community, the City of Burnaby has shown residents it is committed to protecting the high quality public services that are essential to strong communities, a healthy environment and public accountability.

“Today, World Water Day, we thank Mayor Corrigan and the whole council for their initiative, and we look forward to working with other communities across the country to safeguard our common right to clean, accessible and public water.”

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Drinking water and waste water resolution approved unanimously by Burnaby City Council:

WHERAS public health depends on equitable access to clean water supplies; and

WHERAS public ownership and operation of drinking water and wastewater treatment systems have improved access and quality over the past century; and

WHERAS evidence indicates that public operation of water services is:

• Cost effective and efficient when compared to private sector operation

• Transparent and accountable to the public and users;

• Flexible and responsive to changing technology, priorities and community needs; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Burnaby supports public and non-profit ownership and operation of water and wastewater treatment services in our community; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Council lobby the federal government to fulfill its responsibility to support municipal infrastructure by investing in a national water infrastructure fund that would address the growing need to renew existing water and wastewater infrastructure and build new systems; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Council forward this resolution to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for circulation to all of its members.

COPE491

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