Under NAFTA, Canada’s water is up for grabs
Water is defined as a “tradeable good” in NAFTA, which means in the future it could be sold to the highest bidder. You can bet that hasn’t escaped the eye of President Trump’s NAFTA negotiating team. As more areas in the US face droughts, there will be increasing pressure to tap into Canada’s water supply.
Even if one province sells water to parched US states, under NAFTA rules the federal government would be powerless to turn off the tap. And NAFTA’s proportionality clause would lock that province into continuing to send that amount of water to the US – even in times of drought here.
Because water is not explicitly removed from NAFTA, it can also be treated as a service and privatized. When services – like municipal water delivery – are provided by private corporations, NAFTA provisions limit the involvement of the public sector. Examples around the world have shown the impacts privatization has on water services, including increased rates, reduced accessibility and poorer quality water.
Your voice is needed to send the Trudeau government a clear message heading into these critical renegotiations. Canada’s water sources are finite and under growing pressure from pollution, massive extractions and climate change. We need strong federal leadership to protect and manage our water appropriately – and that starts with excluding it from being given away in corporate trade agreements.
NAFTA talks get underway soon, so we must act now. Please take a moment to send your letter to your MP or Prime Minister Trudeau, calling on the Canadian government to remove all references to water from NAFTA.
Together we’ll send the Trudeau trade team to the renegotiation table with a clear mandate from the people: Don’t leave Canada’s water vulnerable in NAFTA.
Thank you speaking up and taking action when it matters most.
Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians