What does it mean to go 'Blue'?

Nature and water are easy to connect with and love in wilderness or rural settings. We leave the trappings of the city behind us - the bigger the city, the more noise, pavement, cars and pollution - and travel into the heart of the natural world. But for those of us who both live in cities and love nature, it is imperative we find ways to support nature and waterways in our communities.

I connect to nature in my city (Ottawa) by jogging in my local park and helping in its annual cleanup, tending my garden, walking instead of driving as much as possible, giving to my local wild bird rescue centre and being part of the local chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

Water in my city, and generally, is a constant inspiration for me. There is another park near my home that was once a stream and every spring, it tries its hardest to return to its natural state, the old stream flooding grass and flowerbeds. I always root for the stream over the mighty efforts of city workers to tame it.

I am fiercely proud of the quality of public tap water we have in most Canadian cities (but not of course in many First Nations communities) and I reject bottled water and the privatization ofmunicipal water services. We at the Council of Canadians promote Blue Communities where a municipality promises to protect water as a human right, maintain it as a public trust and phase out bottled water use on municipal premises. There are now nineteen cities in Canada that have gone “Blue” and the concept is spreading around the world.

Water plays a vital role in my life and has since I first discovered that it is considered a “tradable good” in all trade agreements including NAFTA. I am totally opposed to the commercialization of water, from water trading, to water exports. I fear with the concept of water as a good and an investment lodged in these global trade deals, we will see a circling of the planet’s dwindling water supplies by commercial interests.

Protecting water for people and the planet is my life's work and I know it is dear to the hearts of all members of Wild About Saskatoon!

- Maude Barlow

You have a chance to see Maude Barlow speak in Saskatoon, as the keynote evening of NatureCity Festival 2017. Join us for 'Our Blue Future: An evening with Maude Barlow', on Thursday May 25th at 7PM at the Roxy Theatre in Saskatoon. Tickets are FREE - get your tickets HERE.