The Council of Canadians welcomed the latest Blue Community into the fold yesterday. Jericho House in Wainfleet, Ontario is a youth leadership, social & ecological justice, and spirituality center just a stone's throw from Lake Erie on the Niagara Peninsula. Our new Executive Director, Molly Kane delivered the Blue Community certificate yesterday afternoon to Jericho House's Board of Directors. The community sited their proximity to Lake Erie and a prolific spring in the conservation area next to their property amongst their reasons for wanting to commit to the principles of being a Blue Community. Blue Communities support the idea of a water commons framework, recognizing that water is a shared resource for all. They recognize water and sanitation as human rights, ban or phase out the sale or use of bottled water in their facilities and promote publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services. A “Blue Community” recognizes its responsibility to promote the right to water. Because water is central to human activity, it must be governed by principles that allow for reasonable use, equal distribution and responsible treatment to preserve water for nature and for future generations.
Here are the resolutions passed by Jericho House that make them a Blue Community:
- Whereas, Jericho House is located .08 km from Lake Erie, a major freshwater resource; and Whereas, Jericho House borders the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority's fresh water Quarry;
- Whereas, water is a gift held in common by all of us, the human and other than human;
- Whereas, water is a common good that is shared by everyone and is the responsibility of all;
- Whereas, water is essential for all of life and must be governed by principles that allow for reasonable use, equal distribution and responsible treatment;
- Whereas, there is increasing pressure by business and other entities to put water up for sale and to privatize water services;
- Whereas, many Canadians, especially many Indigenous Peoples, are deprived of clean and safe drinking water and adequate sanitation;
- Whereas, each responsible and rational person has an obligation to protect, to preserve and to use wisely this water as a commons and as a public trust;
- Whereas, the adoption of a water commons framework to address pollution, degradation, depletion, and privatization at the community level is crucial in the global struggle to preserve water and ensure fair access to all.
Therefore, the Board of Directors of Jericho House has passed the following resolution, that Jericho House be designated a Blue Community and proceed with the necessary application process.
Be it further resolved that Jericho House commit itself to:
- Advocate for the recognition that water is a human right. Recognizing that the corporate takeover of water is an underlying cause for the privatization of water and its infrastructure.
- We will join and/or support individuals and groups who advocate for safe, clean water and sanitation and who resist the corporate takeover of water.
- Advocate for the protection of public ownership and operation of waters and watersheds with governing bodies on the municipal, provincial, national, and international level for the development of plans of action, establishment of monitoring and accountability mechanisms and ensuring affordable services for all.
- Monitor use of water. Use only the amount of water needed. Refrain from using bottled water where potable water is available.
- Advocate the protection of waters and watersheds with faith groups. Include references to care for water in all the presentations we make.
- Ensure good maintenance of taps and other domestic water lines in our facilities.
- Monitor and limit how much plastic goods we purchase and use.
- Write letters and sign petitions related to the protection and preservation of water.
- Continue to educate ourselves in these matters.
- Include in all Jericho House's Terms & Conditions the designation that Jericho House is a Blue Community and, as such, a Bottled Water-Free Zone.
We make this commitment for the good of all in keeping with the integrity of all creation and in a spirit of humility and gratitude for water and the many gifts lavished on us by the Creator.
To learn more about Canada's Blue Communities, click here: BLUE COMMUNITIES