Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Atlantic

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Atlantic

March 20, 2009 08:43 ET

Toast Public Water This World Water Day, Says NS Coalition

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - March 19, 2009) - HRM Councillor Dawn Sloane will represent the Mayor's office and join in a toast to public water this Friday, March 20th, in an event organized by the coalition to 'Turn on the Taps and Ditch the Bottle'. The public toast will happen at 11am in Parade Square, of Halifax Regional Municipality City Hall during which time the coalition will also deliver a large 'bottled water tower', constructed of bottles found in the garbage at municipal facilities.

"The support of public water by HRM is significant to Nova Scotia," says Jocelyne Rankin of the Ecology Action Centre. "We are working with municipalities across the province to support resolutions to phase out bottled water and re-invest in public water. With the momentum from the recent Federation of Canadian Municipalities' vote, we are expecting many to be onside and we're very pleased Mayor Kelly is showing his commitment to public water by sending Councillor Sloane to participate in this toast on his behalf."

This broad-based coalition has been working with municipalities since last December to phase out the sale and provision of single-use water bottles in municipal facilities. The District of Barrington passed a resolution in January 2009. This World Water Day, activities are planned to highlight the importance of using public water instead of paying for the bottles.

"2005-2015 is the UN-declared Decade for Action on Water, called 'Water for Life'," says Angela Giles with the Council of Canadians, whose National Chairperson Maude Barlow is now also the Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the UN General Assembly. "In Nova Scotia, our public water is delivered by some of the finest public municipal facilities and workers in Canada - we need to ensure that the private P3 model is abandoned by cities and we keep it public. This World Water Day, let's demand access to clean public water, and raise a glass."

CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh says, "As Canadians, we are lucky enough to be able to enjoy fresh, clean tap water. What better way to celebrate this than to ditch the bottle and turn on the taps!"

Public water and reusable cups will be available for the toast. World Water Day is Sunday, March 22nd, and on this day, in churches and universities, hockey arenas and homes, Nova Scotians will toast to public water. (Faith leaders that have committed to doing a toast to public water with their congregations are listed below.)

For more background, go to:

CUPE-NS (call out sent to CUPE members about this WWD):

The Council of Canadians (Coalition documents, World Water Day events and more water information):

The Polaris Institute (Coalition campaign documents and more water information):

Faith leaders in Nova Scotia that will be toasting to public water as part of their service on March 22nd include:

- Pastor Kimber McNabb
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection,
2096 Windsor St, Halifax, N.S.

- Rev. Charles Bull,
Anglican Parish of Aylesford/Berwick
P.O. Box 177
Berwick, N.S., B0P 1E0

- Rev. Jeanne Stright
St. Paul's United Church
173 Old Sambro Road, Spryfield
Service at 11 am, March 22

- Margaret Galbraith
Universalist Unitarian Church
Inglis Street, Halifax.

Also on Sunday, there will be a Toast to Public Water at Acadia University's Wheelock Dining Hall. The event will be from 5:30 to 7:30pm, and in addition to the toast there will be music performances and prize draws. For more information on this event or other Acadia World Water Week events, contact Amy Buckland-Nicks, Sustainability Office Coordinator at

Contact Information

  • The Ecology Action Centre
    Jocelyne Rankin
    Freshwater Coordinator
    The Council of Canadians
    Angela Giles
    Atlantic Regional Organizer
    Mobile: 902-478-5727