How Safe is Our Drinking Water?/ Phone In: Improving Politics - Your Civic Duty.May 17, 2010 3:06 PM
What worries you most about the state of drinking water in Canada?
Safe, Clean Water: 10 years ago most Canadians had never heard of Walkerton, Ontario. A decade ago, e-coli contaminated the town's water supply, killed seven people and made thousands more sick.
Today, Walkerton is the symbol of the high cost of not protecting the water we drink. A national group made up of water experts is now lobbying provincial governments across Canada and in Ottawa to better protect our freshwater. The Forum for Leadership on Water released a report today entitled Seeking Water Justice. Guest host Jean Laroche spoke with the program's co-ordinator, Nancy Goucher.
Your Civic Duty?: There's plenty to chew on if you're disenchanted with politics. The Helena Guergis affair drags on; first, the Ontario MP had a meltdown at the Charlottetown airport. Then Stephen Harper tossed her from cabinet and the Conservative caucus, and it's still not clear why. In Alberta, another MP is implicated in an alleged mortgage fraud scheme. In Ottawa, MPs are in a stand off with Auditor General Sheila Fraser over a review of their expense claims.
In New Brunswick, the deal to sell NB Power to Hydro Quebec collapsed after a firestorm of protest from citizens over the lack of public input into the idea.
In Nova Scotia, a forensic audit of questionable MLA expenses may turn into a police investigation. Throw in broken election promises, and party infighting, and many Maritimers are fed up with the way politics is played. Many of us pay only passing attention to what our politicians are up to, and when it comes time to vote - a growing number of us don't even bother. But do you really have a right to complain if your response is simply to tune out? Our guests were Michael Whalen, a professor of business at Mount Saint Vincent University and a former Canadian diplomat, and Duff Conacher, the coordinator of Democracy Watch, a non-partisan advocacy group that lobbies for greater government transparency, accountability and democratic reform. Our question: what responsibility do citizens have to improve the way we are governed?
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