Open Forum – Letters to the Editor

Sacred water

To the editor:

After recently personally experiencing a brief interlude of no drinkable water, the importance of water takes on a new importance. A very important question arises: does life on Earth have a sacred right to clean fresh drinking water?

Mr. Peter Brabec-Letmathe, past CEO of one of the biggest suppliers of commercial drinking water in the world — Nestles — believes that water is just another commodity to be bought and sold for corporate profit.

As we all know, corporations are recent creations of man for selfish purposes. Evidence proves that too often the more powerful the corporation becomes, the more selfish their purpose.

It goes something like this. Incorporate, save taxes, control resources, control labour, control governments. Get those governments to set regulations so a basic element like water just becomes another commodity, and corporations have priority access.

Unlike other resources, water is one of the four basic elements needed to develop and sustain life on Earth. Water, air, earth and fire were given to life on Earth by creation. Any human society that has ever recognized this fact has treated the elements as sacred. We are totally beholding to these elements because without them life, as we know it, would not exist on Earth.

The flaw of putting water under the control of something as volatile and selfish as human ambition for profit and power is a recipe for many of the human and environmental disasters we witness.

Cutting off fresh water from reaching our oceans, depletions and destruction of our aquifers, massive tailing ponds, the use of subterranean formations as pollution dumps and the idiotic concept of “dilution is the solution for pollution” might work for company profits but it is devastating for life.

I would suggest that we study water for its wonders and respect water as one of those four basic elements that allows life to exist on Earth. The natural condition of water should be honoured as sacred. That should be written into the laws of our nations and international organizations, and the concept of using and abusing water for profit should be outlawed.

Fighting disease

To the editor:

The Global Fund is the largest concentrated global effort to eliminate the world’s greatest killers — AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria — and they have been incredibly successful, saving tens of millions of lives. The world’s developed nations contribute to this fund, and it is due for renewal for another three years.

Japan has recently committed to this renewal, and so has the United Kingdom, both significantly increasing their amount as requested by the fund. South Korea is poised to do the same. But Canada has been silent. 

Canada’s contribution rate of development assistance is among the least of major developed nations, despite a healthy economy. The Trudeau government’s refusal to commit to an increase in critical funding sends a terrible signal to the world, with an impact far greater than the minor amount we are expected to contribute. 

Smaller economies around the world watch to see which way the wind is blowing in deciding how much to pledge — Canada’s silence screams volumes to these countries. The Trudeau government must step forward and show the world we can be a trusted partner and commit its share of funding.

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