Canada, the second largest country in the world, has over three million lakes, 9 % of it's huge territory is fresh water and 60% of all the world's lakes are within Canadian borders. We have lots of water, a lot that we can share with others but we need to protect it, and use it at OUR discretion.
We have the latest news that corporations are presently setting up shop in Canada, and simply siphoning our water into bottles, without paying a cent for it, and selling it world-wide for a huge profit! Nestle Corporation being the latest to grab headlines.They simply set up a facility to collect water and sell it. They didn't even ask who it belonged to.
The Canadian government has said they may set a water policy in the next year or so. The question is why haven't they done it long ago? They anticipate that we will begin charging corporations for the water they are using for profit. Nestle's answer to that proposal of course, is that if they have to pay then everyone should pay the same. Including Canadian citizens. The reasoning, if you could call it that, is that everyone should pay the international market price for whatever resource is being used. Corporations consider everything on Earth to be a Global ownership.
Many Canadians argue that as we are the actual owners of the water, or oil, or forest, or mines, then we should get a price separate from a huge corporate entity who expects to make money from the resource.
It can be likened to a man owning a small bakery. He makes bread and sells it for a dollar a loaf. And every evening, he brings home a loaf for his family. He IS paying for that bread in the cost of the ingredients and the time in making it. But some believe he should also pay the dollar a loaf because THEY have to. The baker replies that if he is the owner of the bakery, and he knows how to bake the bread, then he and his family should benefit from his investment and expertise by getting it at a much lower price.
This rationale can be extended to electric power, oil and gas production, lumber from our vast forests etc. Why should there be a universal price for electric power when the resource belongs to the citizens of the region of the resource? Why shouldn't the real owners get a break on the price?
We pay nearly $1.50 a liter for gasoline, where the Saudis pay less than ten cents! Why should the Arabs get such a break? Because they OWN it of course. If we pay 10 cents a cubic liter for natural gas, why should we sell it to others for that price? What the traffic will bear should be the criteria.
There was a time a few years ago, when the Norwegians found oil off their coast. Their tax system today amounts to a 78% tax on oil profits. At first the oil companies wanted much less, and they were told to take it or leave it! They took it and still make billions for themselves. Today little Norway with only 5 million people has a sovereign wealth fund of about 545 billion dollars! Virtually all of it going to the country. (Alaska has about 40 billion and only pays dividends to just a few Alaskans)
We sold California electric power, and when they mismanaged their own deal, they sued us for charging too much! They owed us 200 million, balked and sued and we paid THEM 750 million! Are Canadians stupid or what? If I was the baker, and someone sued me to get his bread free too, that person would never be allowed in my bakery to get another loaf! Do we still have a contract with California?
So now we have huge resources in fresh water. Everyone knows that. The American mid-west has been in a drought situation for 25 years! They WANT our water. Many suspect the CBC TV show Intelligence was cancelled by the Americans because the plot direction was heading towards the fact that the FBI was politically manipulating Canadian politicians toward some agreement to get our water cheap or free. That's a TV show you say, but the cancellation was sudden and unexplainable.
The fact remains, that we have the right, and even the obligation to sell our oil and gas and logs and electricity, AND our water, at the price of whatever the market will bear, without charging the people for the resources that belongs to every Canadian that same price. That is the baker getting a break in his own bakery.
We need to get away from any kind of global thinking about our resources, and consider ourselves first and others as a profit source. Not to say that we shouldn't share it with those less fortunate, but giving it away in certain circumstances to save lives, should have no effect on selling it to corporations for sprinkling golf course greens.
Saudi Arabia has NO rivers. Their water comes from desalinization plants and underground reservoirs. They expect to pay for water. But not gas.
Can you imagine the outcry if the Saudis suddenly put their gasoline price up to $1.50 a liter? Just because we Canadians were paying that price? Would they overthrow the Saudi princes and kings and banish them? Likely they would.
The fact is that we are an oil producing nation and could sustain ourselves very well on what we already have. Yet we pay an international price. Sad isn't it? And many say the NAFTA agreement deems our resources as American too so we can never hold back anything for ourselves in a crunch. NAFTA only made sure any resources in that contract were not really ours.
Should we give away our water and then pay an international price for it? It is time we took a hard line and managed our resources for the benefit of Canadians. Not wealthy international shareholders.
Take it or leave it.