Maude Barlow – Canada

Linked with International Forum on Globalization, with the Blue Planet Project, with the Council of Canadians, with the World Future Council, .

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Maude Victoria Barlow (born May 24, 1947) is a Canadian author and activist. She is the national chairperson of The Council of Canadians, a progressive citizens’ advocacy organization with members and chapters across Canada. She is also the co-founder of the Blue Planet Project, which works to stop commodification of the world’s water. She is also a director with the International Forum on Globalization, a San Francisco based research and education institution opposed to economic globalization; fellow with the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies; a board member of Food & Water Watch, the national US organization fighting for corporate and government accountability as it relates to food, water, and fishing; and a founding member of the European-based World Future Council … (full long text).

She says: “I go crazy when I see certain things and I have to find out why they happen. And I have to tell people. I have to do something so that other people will also take action”.

Listen her short video statement on Connected Life.


Maude Barlow – Canada

She works for the Council of Canadians, for the International Forum on Globalization, for the Blue Planet Project, and with the World Future Council.

Kenyan children who have lost their eyes to river blindness; trash, blood, and sewage being dumped into rivers in Bolivia; huge, World Bank-funded dams turning fresh water to poison by blocking their flow. When it comes to the suffering caused by water shortage, water pollution, and water privatization (big private corporations buying up countries’ and towns’ water rights), Canadian activist Maude Barlow has seen it all … (full text).

An ideal future communication infrastructure … !

Maude Barlow will give documentational proof as to what the end results will be.There are places in other parts of the world where this has taken place and the price of a gallon of water is more than a gallon of milk … (full text).

the Canadian environmental activist Maude Barlow, this year’s guest speaker, will present a talk titled ‘Too Late to Panic – Protecting Canada’s Water and Energy Supplies.’ Barlow is the national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, Canada’s largest public advocacy organization, as well as the founder of the Blue Planet Project, working internationally for the right to water … (full text).

… on the National Speakers Bureau.

She writes: “The Canadian government is at it again”. That was the opening line in an urgent email we received this week from an international NGO working to promote the right to water at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. The Centre on Housing Rights and Eviction (COHRE) had just participated in a session where the Canadian government had undermined a key resolution tabled by Germany and Spain at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on March 10 that calls for water and sanitation to be recognized as a human right … (full text).

Barlow is the subject of a National Film Board of Canada documentary Democracy à la Maude as well as a CBC TV Life and Times biography. (wikipedia).

Eight to receive honorary degrees at convocation.

She says also: “This notion that we’ll have water forever is wrong. California is running out. It’s got twenty-some years of water. New Mexico has got ten, although they’re building golf courses as fast as they can, so maybe they can whittle that down to five. Arizona, Florida, even the Great Lakes now, there’s huge new demand” … and: “There are private corporate interests that have decided that water is going to be put on the open market for sale. It’s going to be commodified and treated as any other saleable good” … and: “Well, I guess the most important thing I want to put out to the world is that we always hear that climate change—and that is, greenhouse gas-induced climate change—is affecting water, which is true—melting glaciers and all of that. But I am, with this book, trying to put a new wrinkle, if you will, into the whole debate. It’s kind of—I call it the inconvenient truth of water. And that is that our abuse, pollution, misplacement, displacement and just mismanagement of water is actually one of the causes of climate change. And it’s a really different kind of way of looking at it. Very simply, Amy, the story is that as we have polluted the world’s surface water, we are taking water from the ground, from ground water or from wilderness or from watersheds, and we’re moving it where we want it to be, so to water great big huge cities that then dump it into the ocean, so don’t return it to the watershed, or we pave over what’s called water-retentive lands, so we don’t have the hydrologic cycle able to fulfill its responsibility and bring water back. We’re doing something called virtual water trade, which is where we use our water to grow or produce something that then is exported. In the United States, you export a third of your water, domestic water, every day out of the United States in terms of these exports. You don’t have enough water to do that. And … (full interview/debate text); (same on AlterNet).

Her guest-commentary on Contra Costa Times.

Find her and her publications on ; on wikipedia; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

The 1000peacewomen-text: Maude Barlow is the national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, Canada’s largest citizen’s advocacy organization with more than 100,000 members, and the founder of the Blue Planet Project, which works to stop commodification of the world’s water. With more than 35 years of advocacy, grassroots organizing, and social activism, Maude is perhaps Canada’s best-known voice of dissent against injustice. She is the recipient of numerous educational awards and has received honorary doctorates from four Canadian universities for her social justice work.

Maude’s activism was sparked by her interest in the women’s movement in the early-1970s. She went on to become the first director of Equal Opportunity at the City of Ottawa and the first senior advisor on women’s issues to a prime minister, Pierre Trudeau. Maude also led a national coalition in opposition to violence against women. “This was a fabulous time to be in on the ground floor of what was just the most exciting movement of its time,” she said.

In 1985, she founded Canada’s largest social justice movement, the Council of Canadians, and has served as the organization’s volunteer chair since 1998. The Council, 100,000-members strong, addresses the negative effects of economic globalization on social programs, foreign policy and the environment. In short, the Council fights for safe food, clean water, fair trade, public health and peace-based foreign policy in Canada and internationally.

Under Maude’s leadership, the Council has run successful campaigns convincing Canada’s Liberal government to prohibit the use of bovine growth hormone in beef and dairy cattle, and, until recently, to heavily regulate genetically improved foods.

Currently, Maude devotes her energy to trade issues and water rights. She is an in-the-trenches activist, not afraid to take to the streets to be heard. Maude has attended every major World Trade Organization and NAFTA negotiation since their inceptions, giving speeches, meeting with high-ranking officials and taking her fair share of tear gas while protesting.

She led the successful fight to stop the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, a proposed international treaty that would have given large transnational corporations enormous powers over local governments. Maude is also a director with the International Forum on Globalization, a San Francisco based think tank on the effects of corporate globalization and alternatives to it.

Advocating for the rights of individuals, especially those least likely to have their voices heard, is also high on Maude’s agenda. She has written and spoken extensively on the right to health care and is a key player in the civil society movement in Canada to stop the privatization of its public health care system.

Those who depend on universal social services have benefited most from Maude’s work. The wealthy are able to buy these services, such as health care and water, for themselves. But the poor are left to the mercy of the marketplace. Maude believes that everyone has fundamental rights to livelihood, fresh water, good food, education, health care and dignified work and she makes others believe they have these rights as well. Her work also serves democracy as she feels that when large, unaccountable corporations make decisions instead of elected governments, local communities lose their rights and power.

Maude is a savvy communicator, conveying her messages through numerous vehicles, including keynote speeches and lectures, editorials and commentaries in magazines and newspaper, television and radio broadcasts and the writing of more than 14 books.

She believes deeply in coalitions and is constantly building relationships with other non-government organizations (NGOs). When she sees a need, she moves in to establish an NGO to address it. As she has said, “I go crazy when I see certain things and I have to find out why they happen. And I have to tell people…I have to do something so that other people will also take action.”

Taking action against the increasing commercialization of water, Maude has become a staunch activist to keep this public good from falling into the hands of corporate interests. Under her leadership, the Council of Canadians has helped create local activist grassroots groups to fight big water corporations. Her and the organization’s public advocacy, for example, helped the people of Cochabomba, Bolivia, fight the World Bank and keep water in local control.

“We know that 5 million people, most of them children, die every year from illnesses caused by poor drinking water,” Maude said. “If we do not change our ways, by the year 2025, as much as two-thirds of the world will be living in either water scarcity or total water deprivation.”

She considers destruction of aquatic ecosystem health and increasing water scarcity as the most pressing environmental problems facing human kind. She wrote what’s considered the seminal book on water rights, “Blue Gold, The Fight to Stop Theft of the World’s Water,” now available in more than 20 countries.

Maude is married to an activist lawyer and has two sons and three beautiful grandchildren. (1000peacewomen).


How we might want to change NAFTA;

Invitation European College of Liberal Arts Berlin – State of the World Week on Water;

Adolescent Tantrum;

US, Mexico: Election fencing;

Harper should join US call to pull the plug on NAFTA, says Council of Canadians;

Blue Gold: World Water Wars;

The Right Livelihood Award Website;

Union holds forum on water;

The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water;

Some history on water;

Government stalling access-to-water pact, critics charge.

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