Media Release

Ecumenical Service and Walk Held to Commemorate Walkerton Tragedy

Transcript of speech given by local youth water advocate and organizer Braden Weltz

May 16 2010

Saugeen Ripples of Change along with Ripple Effect Ontario have compiled a youth statement recently on protecting and conserving drinking water. Here is a portion of that statement:

We, who represent the youth of Ontario, know the importance of protecting our drinking water sources. We are passionate about protecting this essential resource and have compiled this Youth Statement. We provide the following recommendations in support of the government of Ontario's efforts to conserve and protect our water.

1. We call on the Ontario government to integrate a holistic water curriculum into the education system.

2. We support increasing the action-based water learning available to the Ontario public at large, including education for communities, businesses, government and nongovernmental entities on methods for conserving water at home and in the workplace on a daily basis.

3. We commend the Ontario government for taking a proactive and inclusive approach to the management of water through the multi-barrier, community-based Clean Water Act.

4. We encourage the movement to eliminate the sale of bottled water in Ontario public schools and university campuses and promote the use of tap water as the main source of drinking water instead. We urge the Government of Ontario to support this movement.

5. The ownership, distribution, pumping, treatment and filtration of municipal water systems should remain public to ensure accountability and transparency to Ontario citizens and so that safe drinking water is accessible to all. We believe that the Government of Ontario is responsible for ensuring this.

6. Water should be recognized as a human right in Canada. 7. We commend the Ontario Water Conservation Alliance and support their call for the Government of Ontario to continue to invest more into new and innovative ways to protect, conserve, treat and re-use water.

And Finally, 8. We advocate for the Government of Ontario to include young Canadians in the employment opportunities available in water development offered through the province’s “Open Ontario Plan.”

In conclusion, It is apparent that there is a need for intergenerational collaboration on water issues, including projects such a Ripple Effect Ontario. In order to ensure the protection of this precious resource, it is critical that youth are involved in the political process and dialogue about the future of our water.

Thank you.
Braden Weltz

For more information:

 Ripples of Change youth statement.
Visit the Ripple Effect website or the Ripples of Change facebook group