Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis

By Maude Barlow

Image of the book cover beside a photo of a bookshelf and opened book on a table.

“Maude Barlow is one of the planet’s greatest water defenders.” – Naomi Klein While you may not know who Maude Barlow is, you may want to find out. The author of Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis is also the author of 17 previous books, Chairs the Council of Canadians and was the first Senior Advisor on water to the Secretary General of the United Nations, leading the campaign to have water recognized as a human right.

If you care about our planet, wonder about the environmental damage done under our previous federal government or question the true commitment to Indigenous people under Prime Minister Trudeau, this book is time well spent.

A sweeping compendium, it is up-tothe-minute covering the latest legislative battles while itemizing government inaction and neglect. Its vast coverage of water protection deconstructs the Canadian mythology of abundance. Many have heard Canada has 20 per cent of the Earth’s fresh water, but Barlow recalibrates this perspective. Most of this is unusable or inaccessible and in actual fact, “…our renewable fresh water only equals the volume of Lake Huron…2.6% of world’s total for 90% of Canadians who live along the US border.” Sobering.

“On World Water Day 2015, the UN reported that demand for water will increase by 55% over the next 15 years.” A chilling introduction. Turn the page: “In China, over half the rivers have disappeared in just 25 years.” What?!

And then: “Corporations are eyeing Canada’s water, setting up bottled water operations and bidding to run water services on a for-profit basis.” That last quote hit me where I live, literally.

Nestle recently purchased the Middlebrook Road property in Centre Wellington (Elora). They have applied for a permit to extract 1.6 million litres of water PER DAY. Boiling Point lays out clearly why this should NOT happen.

Barlow notes in her closing words, “Future generations have the same right to breathe clean air and drink clean water. Much rests with what we do now.” And what we must do now is educate ourselves and take action.

About Diane Ballantyne
Diane Ballantyne, M.Ed is a teacher at Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus in District 18, Upper Grand and sits on the OSSTF/FEESO provincial Communications/Political Action Committee.

1 Comment on Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis

  1. Nanci Henderson // March 25, 2017 at 6:10 pm // Reply

    I love the “recalibrating” of our mythology of abundance. Living so close to the Nestle scenario on Middlebrook Road, this issue has grabbed my attention. Thanks for a great review Diane!

Leave a Reply to Nanci Henderson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.