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Maude Barlow

National Chairperson, Council of Canadians

Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch.

She is also an executive member of the San Francisco–based International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council.

Maude is the recipient of fourteen honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), the 2005 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellowship Award, the Citation of Lifetime Achievement at the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards, the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award, the 2009 Planet in Focus Eco Hero Award, and the 2011 EarthCare Award, the highest international honour of the Sierra Club (US).

In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN.

She is also the author of dozens of reports, as well as 18 books, including, Blue Future: Protecting Water For People And The Planet Forever and her latest Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis. More information on Maude Barlow can be found at:
Do We Have a Blue

Do We Have a Blue Future?

The world is running out of accessible clean water. In my new book, <em>Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever</em>, I call for a new water ethic that places water and its protection at the centre of all policy and practice if the planet and we are to survive.
10/01/2013 08:04 EDT
TransCanada's Energy East: Another Broken Pipeline

TransCanada's Energy East: Another Broken Pipeline Plan

Imagine that you step out your door for the morning commute, but your street is flooded. Not with water, but with bitumen from the tar sands. This is precisely what happened with Exxon's Pegasus pipeline when it spilled over 1 million litres of tar sands crude into the Arkansas suburb of Mayflower earlier this year. And it's the potential future facing communities along the route of TransCanada's recently announced Energy East pipeline, if the plan moves ahead. The project would see oil, including diluted bitumen, transported from Alberta's tar sands to Québec and Atlantic Canada.
08/06/2013 05:12 EDT
Lac Megantic: Don't Blame the

Lac Megantic: Don't Blame the Engineer

The combination of a dramatic increase in North American fossil fuel production combined with deregulation of modes of oil and gas transportation and the removal of almost all protections for Canada's freshwater heritage is a recipe for further accidents, spills and tragedies. Those who do not learn from their mistakes are bound to repeat them. All across the country, we are in mourning for the victims of this accident. The very least we can do for the families and friends of lost loved ones in Lac-Mégantic is right the wrongs that led to that terrible night.
07/27/2013 08:28 EDT
Why Transatlantic Free Trade Is a Mistake for Canada and the United

Why Transatlantic Free Trade Is a Mistake for Canada and the United States

President Obama announced in February that he will start talks with the EU on a transatlantic trade, investment, and regulatory pact. The Mexican government is allegedly seeking a spot in the transatlantic talks with speculation Canada may join. But for all three NAFTA countries the pact would be a mistake, as Canadians are learning too late.
03/19/2013 12:29 EDT
We Don't Need

We Don't Need "Co-Operation" -- We Need Water Justice

The United Nations has just named 2013 the year of water co-operation. Those of us who have been fighting privatization packaged as "partnerships" and deregulation promoted as "corporate sustainability" are naturally skeptical. The UN should instead launch a year of water justice.
03/12/2013 05:46 EDT
Why I'm Sending Back My Diamond Jubilee

Why I'm Sending Back My Diamond Jubilee Medal

A few months ago, I received the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal and my husband put it in a lovely frame and hung it up. On Friday, we took it down and on Monday I will send it back to Rideau Hall. I recognize that a great many wonderful Canadians were proud to receive this honour but the actions of the Harper government towards aboriginals in recent months have been so extraordinarily anti-democratic and just plain wrong for this country. I and many other Canadians are having to find whatever means we can to protest.
01/12/2013 08:43 EST
The Buck Shouldn't Stop at Theresa

The Buck Shouldn't Stop at Theresa Spence

All Canadians owe a debt of gratitude to Chief Theresa Spence's and Elder Raymond Robinson's hunger strikes. These individuals are calling attention to an intolerable situation among First Nations communities. They are also highlighting concerns common to many Canadians about dangers posed by unilateral government.
01/10/2013 12:14 EST
How Harper's Nexen Deal Deceived

How Harper's Nexen Deal Deceived Canadians

On December 7, Prime Minister Stephen Harper approved the first two complete takeovers of Canadian-owned energy firms by foreign state-owned companies in our country's history. The Prime Minister used sleight of hand to trick Canadians into thinking these were "exceptional" cases, to be repeated only cautiously in the future. He appeared to close the door to ownership of the tar sands by companies controlled by foreign governments. But he didn't close it at all. He left it wide open and signaled to China, Malaysia and other countries that Canada's strategic energy resources were entirely for sale, not just to the highest bidder but to any bidder at all.
12/11/2012 08:11 EST
Harper's Solution to Health Care Woes?

Harper's Solution to Health Care Woes? Disappear

On November 22 and 23, Canada's premiers are holding an economic summit in Halifax. Stephen Harper was invited, but he's not coming. Harper's quiet absence at the first ministers' meeting in Halifax speaks volumes about his commitment to universal health care. Harper is well aware that his refusal to negotiate a 2014 Health Accord and the downloading of almost $40 billion will encourage provinces to charge patients out-of-pocket and bring in more for-profit services. This is the most expensive and least efficient method of delivering health care -- if you need proof, just look to our southern neighbours.
11/22/2012 12:30 EST
Why Our Water Is At

Why Our Water Is At Risk

Canadian officials are in Brussels this week in what may be the final round of a sweeping new Canada-European Union trade deal that puts our water at risk. Your provincial premiers are doing little to stop them but that can and must change.
10/23/2012 05:21 EDT
The Darker Side of Free Trade Between Canada and the

The Darker Side of Free Trade Between Canada and the U.S.

Canada remembers a milestone this week -- the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Former Mulroney government officials and the business community that supported the first-of-its-kind project are running predictable victory laps in commentaries this week. Well, I'm sorry to crash this little party but there is something seriously wrong with this picture.
10/05/2012 05:46 EDT
Water Should be Free For Everyone, Not Bottled For a

Water Should be Free For Everyone, Not Bottled For a Few

I have just returned from a week in Switzerland to promote the right to water and to challenge the Swiss bottled water giant, Nestlé. Given that the marketing department of Nestlé has a larger annual budget than the World Health Organization, it is widely understood that the company has great political influence. This is a disaster in a world where demand for water is outstripping supply at an accelerating rate. Nestlé's goal is to shift government policy away from providing public municipal water supplies to people, and toward a dependency on bottled water to provide basic drinking water.
09/22/2012 12:13 EDT
Meet the 13-Year-Old Girl Taking on Bottled

Meet the 13-Year-Old Girl Taking on Bottled Water

The success of the Blue Communities project in Ontario can be mainly attributed to Robyn Hamlyn who has met with 18 mayors and councillors. She talks about the environmental impacts of bottled water, the preposterous amount of profit bottled water companies make off communities' lakes and streams and the stricter standards with which tap water is regulated. And the incredible part of this success story is that Hamlyn is only 13 years old.
08/31/2012 04:35 EDT
Harper Hacks Down Our

Harper Hacks Down Our Medicare

We need leaders who will rise to the challenge of protecting and improving medicare, not shirk their responsibilities. Prime Minister Harper, you are needed back at the table for a 2014 Health Accord. Canadians have real expectations of you, not just to cut cheques -- and increasingly smaller cheques at that -- but to lead Canada on health care. Your absence will hurt the health of Canadians.
07/18/2012 05:09 EDT
Don't Award PepsiCo For Privatizing

Don't Award PepsiCo For Privatizing Water

As activists from around the globe are convening at the Rio +20 conference to protect our common resources from private interests, the Stockholm International Water Institute's decision to award PepsiCo for its water efficiency is a cruel irony. There are some resources that simply shouldn't be bottled, traded or sacrificed to the market, and that is especially true of water.
06/15/2012 05:07 EDT
Harper and the Environment are Like Oil and

Harper and the Environment are Like Oil and Water

The Harper government is waging war on Canada's fresh water. Industry will now have unprecedented influence over water protection policy and the Harper cabinet will make decisions about which watersheds deserve protection based on political, not scientific, grounds. What a travesty Harper has decided to sacrifice our freshwater heritage in order to please his industry friends.
05/18/2012 12:29 EDT
Don't Drink Harper's

Don't Drink Harper's Water

It is World Water Day, a day to celebrate the world's water heritage and ensure clean adequate supplies of drinking water and sanitation for all. To our shame, Canada is once again leading a charge to weaken language in an important United Nations document that would reiterate the human right to water and sanitatio
03/22/2012 10:59 EDT
Harper Sells Canadian Human Rights to

Harper Sells Canadian Human Rights to China

Stephen Harper is aggressively selling Canada's tar sands and other energy and natural resources to China and willing to give it investor rights unavailable to Canadian firms operating domestically.
02/08/2012 04:54 EST
Why is Harper Letting the EU Profit From Canadian

Why is Harper Letting the EU Profit From Canadian Water?

At Davos last week, the EU stated it wants to protect its policy space when it comes to water, but Canada is seeking no such protection. It's a case of European private water giants having their cake and eating it too. In other words, they protect public services at home, but want their own firms to lay siege to public systems abroad.
02/02/2012 04:31 EST
Enbridge: You're On

Enbridge: You're On Notice

Because of the powerful coalition of community, environmental, labour and justice groups that came together the Gateway will never be built. Under the leadership of the First Nations people along the pipeline's proposed path, this growing peoples' movement will take great heart from this victory.
01/18/2012 08:28 EST