Providing safe water worth the minimal cost

Re: ‘Blue Community’ plans sunk, May 22.

To the Editor,

Re: ‘Blue Community’ plans sunk, May 22.

It’s astonishing to hear councillors say they voted on a motion without realizing they were voting on a motion.

I’m surprised to find out that members of Nanaimo city council now need to seek a report from staff on the implications of passing a motion that “recognizes and affirms that access to clean water is a fundamental human right.”

This UN declaration passed on July 29, 2010 with 122 votes in favour, no opposing votes and 41 abstentions, unfortunately, including Canada. It’s a motherhood issue.

The City of Nanaimo already provides safe and clean drinking water.

We pay a user fee for water, but it is not based on a profit motive and this resolution will not stop the city from continuing to charge a reasonable fee to help cover the cost of infrastructure.

Capitalists who want to profit by selling bottled tap water to people who think that it’s better will still be able to do so.

The city has passed other resolutions that reaffirm UN declarations. This year, the City of Nanaimo proclaimed March 21 as Nanaimo’s Day in Recognition of the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Did city council seek a staff report on the implications of this declaration before it was passed?

I hope we do not see that motion rescinded by council because I would hate to think that someone suffering and dying from dysentery, cholera or other water borne diseases would have to face the added insult of racial discrimination.

In the meantime we can continue to ignore the fact that they got these diseases based on their economic situation, social status or place of birth.

For a tiny fraction of the world’s military budget we could provide safe drinking water for every person on the planet.

Paul Manly

Mid Island Chapter,

Council of Canadians

Nanaimo

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