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March 22, 2012

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“Keep it Local, Keep it Public” event coming to Richmond

RICHMOND—CUPE, Council of Canadians and the Richmond Food Security Society will host a free screening of the film “Water Makes Money”, April 10 at the Chinese Bunkhouse (Brittania Heritage Site). This free community event focused on keeping public services public, is part of a series of “Keep it Local, Keep it Public” events that have been held all over B.C.

Communities throughout B.C. and across Canada continue to face pressure to privatize their water and wastewater systems. However, the disastrous consequences of corporate control of such a vital resource to run for a profit is well-documented – from rising prices, declining water quality, to limitations on conservation to outright denial of water to those who cannot afford to pay.

Water played a pivotal role in the recent municipal elections in Abbotsford, when the former mayor, George Peary, attempted to privatize the community’s water. More than 70 per cent of voters voted against this in a referendum and replaced Peary with political newcomer Bruce Banman in the process.

“In a world where increasing freshwater shortages are the way of the future, we encourage everyone to get involved in keeping their water and wastewater services clean, green, affordable and in public hands,” declares Zoe Magnus, Privatization Coordinator for CUPE in British Columbia.

Produced by Leslie Franke & Herdolor Lorenz, the film “Water Makes Money” describes Europe's disastrous experiment with water and wastewater privatization at the hands of big corporations as well as the wave of re-municipalization taking place as communities fight to keep control of these vital public resources. Examples from Europe and America expand the film into a teaching example for the entire world, providing encouragement that water in the hands of the people is possible.

“Water is part of the ‘commons’, not belonging to anyone, but shared by all. It is life giving and everyone’s responsibility to keep it in public control and protect it from being bought, sold or traded for profit. Joining the Blue Communities Project is a great way to help protect water in your community”, said Ava Waxman, Council of Canadians BC-Yukon organizing assistant.

Following the screening a panel of speakers including Zoe Magnus and John Nixon from CUPE and Ava Waxman from the Council of Canadians will take questions from the audience and provide tips on what local communities can do to prevent privatization of their water.

View the event on Facebook.

View poster.


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