Canada Day

Canadians value justice.  We think of our country as a place of democracy and evenhandedness.  We want our children to be left better off than we ourselves have been in terms not only of financial wealth, but in terms of the wealth that rests in the health of our home lands and waters, and the freedom and security of our way of life.  These shared values unite us.  Let us work together to make them real.

July 1, 2013 marks Canada's 146th birthday. Of course in 1867 the Dominion of Canada only included Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the much smaller than present day provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The word “Dominion” in “Dominion of Canada” was inspired by Psalm 72:8 from the King James Bible and intended as a tribute to the Monarchy. Sir John A. Macdonald, who became first Prime Minister of Canada, argued for the name “Kingdom of Canada”, but did not prevail.

Canada provinces 1867-1870

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Canada_provinces_1867-1870.png

Beginning in the 1850's and through the 1860s there was a movement of primarily English speaking Protestants, many of them Orangemen, to annex Rupert's Land into Canada. This movement originated in Upper Canada (later Ontario), a region so named because of its proximity to the headwaters of the Saint Lawrence River relative to Lower Canada which appears higher 'up' on our usual North-at-the-top oriented maps.  Such was the importance of waterways to travel and commerce at the time.  Promoters of Canadian expansionist ambitions saw the Red River Settlement as a potential home base from which to spread British values into the West.

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Community confirms Water Protection as top priority for future of Chilliwack

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 It’s been 4 months since our team at the WaterWealth Project opened the office doors with the vision of seeing better water protection through more community control in the Fraser Valley. So in reading the conclusions of the City of Chilliwack’s Official Community Plan Community Survey, which had nearly 500 respondents, it was like a drink of ice cold unchlorinated water on a hot summer day -- invigorating and refreshing.

 

The outcomes showed that 97% of residents want to see the "protection of drinking water and local streams" as a top priority in the plan for city growth, affirming the community pride we've encountered first hand through our work on the ground as we've been connecting with thousands of local residents. Growing up in the region I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have such clean, pure, home waters teeming with life and productivity. Now with the opportunity to contribute to the community plan for growth in the region I am encouraged to see that I am not alone in a vision to protect the rivers, lakes and streams that provide us all with so much.

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On the 40th BC Election -- WaterWealth

The WaterWealth Project would like to congratulate Laurie Throness & John Martin for their successful election in the ridings of Chilliwack-Hope and Chilliwack. We look forward to working with them as they fulfill their responsibility to protect the home waters that sustain our communities' prosperity. We also look forward to continuing to work with other local residents to support long-term fresh water protection.

In a mere 4 weeks, nearly 2000 people signed the WaterWealth Declaration. Signatories call for local control over decisions that impact our home waters. They voice an urgent need to protect our home waters and drinking water from threats, including permanent chlorination, the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and private run of the river hydro projects. We look forward to continuing to build support to ensure our political representatives respond to the needs of their constituents and uphold respect for Aboriginal rights & title.

The Liberal government made a pre-election commitment to modernize the Water Act in 2014, and we look forward to stronger water protection legislation. Public opinion polls have shown that over 86% of British Columbians believe that fresh water is important to prosperity and quality of life. Our work in the Fraser Valley has reinforced the conclusions of these polls, and we have generated a swell of support and enthusiasm for our work. Yet voter turnout was alarmingly low, with rates of 52% in Chilliwack and 54% in Chilliwack-Hope. The WaterWealth project is looking forward to inspiring more Fraser Valley residents to vote on election days to come.

Many important decisions that impact our home waters are on the table over the course of the next four years, and we are committed to working to ensure that our home rivers, lakes and streams receive the protection they deserve. We invite more of our community to join us.

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Communities want to tap into water decisions

Leading up to the BC Election the WaterWealth Project has been going full steam ahead to garner support for better fresh water protection through 100% community control and the right to say yes or no to decisions that impact on our home waters.

Some fair questions were raised about what we meant when we made the ask for 100% community control, so I paired up with Parker Jefferson of One Cowichan to craft this opinion piece that was picked up by the Vancouver Sun. Take a moment to read it through and hopefully it helps to answer any questions you might have about what community control could look like for us in the Valley.

http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/Communities+want+into+water+decisions/8351331/story.html

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We couldn't do it without you

It’s National Volunteer Week, April 21-27 and at the WaterWealth Project we know we couldn't do it with out you! 


waterjump.jpgGiven the spirit of the week, we wanted to extend a big thank-you to the many volunteers who have come out to support The WaterWealth Project! 

Ever since the WaterWealth kick-off, volunteers have been essential to our many successes along the way – from BBQing at our launch party, blasting our messages around on social media, to putting their boots on the ground with our the door-to-door declaration blitzes.  

We’ve also had a great show of volunteer support at community events & community tabling to ensure WaterWealth was present at the many Earth Day celebrations within the Fraser Valley. To date we have 116 individuals who have said “Yes” to volunteering with us.

 
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You Spoke, We Listened

StoryMapping.jpgFor the past few weeks the team at the WaterWealth Project has been out on the streets and buzzing online to gather your perspectives in our community survey and story map.

We’ve talked to hundreds of students, seniors, mothers, fishermen and business owners. We wanted to hear from you about your favourite watering holes, fishing spots and cherished memories of time on, in or near our fabulous rivers, lakes and streams. We also wanted to hear about changes you’ve observed to our water and the concerns you have for its future, and what you think needs to be done to protect it.

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Canada water week generates a flood of support for water

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Last week, The WaterWealth Project hosted a number of initiatives for Canada Water Week. We had more than 400 residents from the Fraser Valley fill in our survey and partake in our film showings and Hope celebration event.

Whether it was during post-film discussions, or in conversations about water at the University of the Fraser Valley campus, or over a plate of bannock and stew at the Hope Station, the message was sent loud and clear that people in the Canyon and the Valley care about our home waters!

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A Second Eden

A Blog Posting by WaterWealth Community Advisor Larry Commodore

At the March 2Larry Commodore launch of the WaterWealth campaign, I had the honour to say a few words to the nearly 100 persons who responded to our invitation. Below is an expanded version of the brief talk I gave that day. You can watch the video courtesy of Chris Gadsden here.

 
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Q & A with Sheila Muxlow about Canada Water Week

WaterWealth has been in the news lately! Campaign Director Sheila Muxlow answered a journalist's questions earlier this week - scroll down to learn more about the WaterWealth Project and our action-packed Canada Water Week plans.

1. What is mobile story capture? Is it something that you do on an iPad, or other device? What is its purpose?

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We are using iPads and other mobile devices go to public places and conduct a survey with questions about the relationship local residents have to water, their concerns about threats, and their thoughts on what is needed to protect our water wealth. The goal of The WaterWealth Project is to protect our home waters through 100% community control; By going out and connecting with members of the community, we are taking a first step in that direction.
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Chlorination Concerns Present Opportunity for a Broader Water Movement

Photo from CBCThis week, the Chilliwack Times published an op-ed that Larry Commodore and I wrote together. Below is an expanded version of that piece.

In recent weeks, Chilliwack has been ignited by the decision of the Fraser Health Authority (FHA) to chlorinate its drinking water. Despite strong local concern, the permanent use of chlorine seems to be here to stay. But this shouldn't be the end of the debate. Our concern over this issue can help spark a broader movement to protect our water wealth.

 

Three things we’ve seen in the chlorination controversy can help guide this movement.

 

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