Who's in Charge Here?/ Phone in on Protecting Fresh Water Resources.
Nobody Asked Me: Actually, the government of Canada didn't ask anyone whether they could spend a billion dollars on the upcoming political summits in Ontario.
Which raises the question - who makes the decisions these days - and where does the real power lie in Canada? With a political leader? A bureaucrat? A company CEO? That was the focus of a recent phone in with Donald Savoie. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Public Administration & Governance at l'Université de Moncton. Dr Savoie is the author of several books on the changing patterns of influence that shape our society - most recently, one with a blunt title : "Power : Where Is It ?" We read your emails and played some of your responses.
Water Water Everywhere: We know that water is essential for the health and well-being of people and the natural environment - in short, for life itself.
But collectively, we show a remarkable disregard for its protection and conservation. Most Canadians would be hard pressed to tell you how much water they use on a daily basis, exactly where it comes from, or how much there is. That's perhaps understandable in a country marked by rivers and lakes refreshed by rain and snow. But in fact, Canadians' per household consumption of fresh water is among the highest in the world. At the same time, we're putting increasing pressure on those water resources. We're expanding our cities further into rural areas. Our forestry, farming and industrial practices - combined with the potential effects of climate change - add to the risks. From shale gas exploration in New Brunswick, to threats to ground water in Prince Edward Island, and the drilled or dug wells which 40% of Nova Scotians rely on for drinking water, the stressors are growing and the issues are complex.
On the Phone In our guests were Stephanie Merrill, the Co-ordinator of the Freshwater Protection Program with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Jocelyn Rankin, the Water Co-ordinator with the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax, and Dr Michael van den Heuvel, the Canada Research Chair in Watershed Ecological Integrity at the University of Prince Edward Island. Our question: What's the best way to protect our fresh water resources?
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