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Living Waters Rally 2014

Oct. 17, 2014 – The Lake Winnipeg Foundation was pleased to be one of the 110 freshwater organizations and groups in attendance at Living Waters Rally 2014. This biennial gathering took place Oct. 3 - 6 in Ottawa/Gatineau and was organized by the Canadian Freshwater Alliance, of which LWF is a member.

Representatives from recreational, Indigenous, cottage association, faith, philanthropic, environmental, business, academic, and arts and culture groups spent the weekend discussing the future of Canada’s freshwaters. The following statement was released by the Canadian Freshwater Alliance upon conclusion of the rally:

Canada’s waters are suffering. Lakes are choked by algae blooms. Rivers are overflowing their banks, with others dangerously close to drying up. Drinking water supplies are compromised. Struggling fish populations are often unfit for consumption.

Healthy, living waters are essential to the health and prosperity of our communities and the survival of all species. We are blessed in Canada to still have some of the world’s most pristine waters and thus a global obligation to protect them and to restore those waters that are suffering — before it’s too late.

The people of Canada deserve to know the health of their home waters. They deserve to know which ones are healthy and which ones are increasingly at risk. We need regular, independent public assessment of and reporting on the health of our waters.

Protecting and restoring the health of our waters will require leadership. Canada needs a legal and policy framework that sets a high standard of accountability and transparency.

Indigenous peoples, including First Nations, place a spiritual and sacred value on water, and have rights to maintain and strengthen their relationships with traditionally occupied lands and waters pursuant to treaties, aboriginal title and aboriginal rights. Hence, Indigenous peoples are engaged in the movement to protect our waters.

We invite many more people and organizations to become engaged in the protection and restoration of Canada’s freshwater. We will build and strengthen the water movement to ensure that all our waters are in good health — swimmable, drinkable and fishable.

The Lake Winnipeg Foundation is encouraged by the growing momentum across Canada and beyond to take responsibility for our shared waters.

“The passion and commitment of the freshwater leaders I met at Living Waters is truly inspiring,” says Kirsten Earl McCorrister, LWF’s programs director and interim co-executive director.

“Across Canada, people from all walks of life are creating meaningful change for the long-term benefit of their home waters. Here in Manitoba, LWF and our supporters are determined to create the same meaningful change for Lake Winnipeg.”

The Lake Winnipeg Foundation is an environmental, non-governmental organization seeking collaborative solutions to ensure a clean, healthy Lake Winnipeg and watershed now and for future generations. Guided by the expertise of its Science Advisory Council, LWF’s efforts are focused on research, public education, stewardship and collaboration.

For more information or to schedule interviews, contact: Marlo Campbell, LWF communications director, at: communications@lakewinnipegfoundation.org; 204-956-0436

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