Maude Barlow and Chris Turner

Debbie Frketich looks forward to Sunday July 19th

On the last day of the 2014 festival I will be among the first in my seat to hear Des Kennedy’s conversation with Maude Barlow and Chris Turner.  This discussion will highlight the critical issues that have led Barlow and Turner to write and speak passionately about corporate control of water and the recent muzzling of Canadian scientists.

Have you stopped to think about water lately?  Or, like me, do you take for granted the fresh clean water that we drink, cook with and bathe in.  Canada has been truly blessed with an abundance of water and one would think it was being protected and managed for ourmbarlow2 generation as well as our children and their children.  Unfortunately this is not the case and “Maude Barlow issues an urgent warning that we are treating this priceless liquid in ways that are unjust, unhealthy, unsustainable and suicidal.” – David Suzuki

Barlow’s latest book, Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever is the third volume of a trilogy, the first two being Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World’s Water and Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water


Although packed with statistical information, Blue Future is structured around four clear and simple principles:mbarlow1

  • Water is a Human Right
  • Water is a Common Heritage
  • Water Has Rights Too
  • Water Can Teach Us How to Live Together

“For decades Barlow has been on the front lines of this critical battle and her insights on how water can serve as our guide to a more just, sustainable world are a gift to us all.” – Naomi Klein

On another note, did you see the picture of the garbage truck full of books recently?  this picture was taken after the closing and dismantling of several world-class scientific libraries in Canada.  From the abolition of the long form census to the firing of any scientist who speaks out against the Harper government to the burning of irreplaceable scientific records …. the war against science that is being waged by a government driven by ideology rather than scientific knowledge is shocking in the extreme.

In his book, The War on Science: Muzzled Scientists and Wilful Blindness in Stephen Harper’s Canada, ChrisTurner has documented and chronicled the muzzling of Canadian scientists so we can better understand what is happening in our own country.cturner2  This short book is a straightforward and passionate denunciation of the radical changes being imposed upon the Canadian scientific community.

The Harper majority years (2011 – present) are what Turner calls “The age of wilful blindness”, during which there has been a wholesale dismantling of the apparatus of scientific investigation wherever it has threatened to hinder industry, particularly the fossil-fuels industry.

Turner concludes his book with a hope that this disastrous course will be reversed when enough Canadians recognize that “it reveals a picture that doesn’t look like Canada at all.”

Andrew Nikiforuk calls Turner’s book, “essential reading for all Canadians.”

cturner1 Much of what these two dedicated Canadians have uncovered is distressing, but what is hopeful and what will ensure that I am in my seat and don’t miss a minute of this discussion is what we may learn from Turner and Barlow about how we can organize and fight back.



Posted May 2014


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