City of Burnaby named first Blue Community in Canada

Media Release
March 22, 2011

Burnaby, BC – The Council of Canadians and the Canadian Union of Public Employees has presented a certificate for becoming the first Blue Community in Canada to the City of Burnaby, the third largest municipality in BC. A high-resolution photo of the certificate presentation is available here.

A municipality can become a Blue Community by: 1) recognizing water as a human right; 2) promoting publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services; and 3) banning the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events. Burnaby has now adopted resolutions affirming these three criteria.

“The City of Burnaby has demonstrated real leadership on water in Canada, and we’re hopeful we will start to see Blue Communities from coast to coast,” says national water campaigner Emma Lui.

“This is a real victory for water in Burnaby, and is a result of many dedicated people getting organized for water justice in their community,” says Council of Canadians regional organizer Harjap Grewal.

The award to the City of Burnaby, signed by Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and CUPE President Paul Moist notes that a Blue Community “is one that treats water as belonging to no one, and the responsibility of all. Because water is central to human activity, it must be governed by principles that allow for reasonable use, equal distribution and responsible treatment in order to preserve water for nature and future generations. The Council of Canadians and the Canadian Union of Public Employees congratulate the City of Burnaby on this important achievement.”

This year’s World Water Day theme is "Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge”.

More information about the Blue Communities Project: www.canadians.org/bluecommunities.

Elected officials, organizations, and individuals interested in making their municipality a Blue Community can download the guide here.

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