If Canada starts selling any kind of water -- Good-bye Sovereignty
Date: Saturday, January 14 2006
An open letter from Don Faulkner
13 January 2006
A friend of mine sent me an article, where Conservative candidate for Nanaimo-Alberni, Dr. James Lunney, is desirous of selling off bottled water, to the United States.
Said water would come from Henderson Lake, B.C., the great majority of which simply flows to the ocean.
According to Lunney, it would not create a drop in the level of the world’s oceans. He’s probably right, but what of the can of worms that would be opened up, in accordance with the NAFTA agreement?
A similar scheme is presently afoot, to pump water out of the Great Lakes, bottle it in containers not exceeding 20 litres (5 gallons), and ship the product south. But here’s the rub:
Even more disturbing, is the danger that Article 207.9 provides yet another tool for corporations to open the floodgates for bulk water takings and exports.
Under international trade treaties like the North American Free Trade Agreement, water is understood to be an economic good.
Once water, as an economic good, is extracted and sold for commercial purpose, no government or regulatory regime would be allowed to put a ban or even a quota on it.
In other words, since Article 207.9 permits companies to extract water from the Great Lakes basin for sale as bottled water, it triggers the provisions and rules of NAFTA.
Once this happens, there is nothing to stop a bulk water export company ? or consortium of companies ? from using the rules of NAFTA to compel governments to lift their restrictions on bulk water takings from the Great Lakes.
To be sure, the architects of the Annex want to conserve and protect the Great Lakes basin against bulk water takings.
But, the Annex also makes it clear that its regulatory measures are subordinate to international trade treaties and laws. In short, the rules of NAFTA trump the standards and measures outlined in the Annex.
In other words, once Canada starts selling any kind of water, even bottled, it would automatically kick in the provisions of Art. 207.9
This would be the requirement to also sell off bulk water, to the Americans, with no quota restrictions possible, even if we, as a country, should run short of potable water for our own needs.
The Americans have been screaming, since the inception of NAFTA, demanding that we give them water. If we ever do, we’ve then totally lost our sovereignty, and might as well give them the rest of the country as well.
dfaulkner [at] telus.net