Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Friday, April 04, 2008

"NAFTA, US Drought Endanger Canada's Water -Study," Planet Ark, April 4, 2008.

OTTAWA - Increasing droughts in the United States and American unhappiness over NAFTA mean Canada could one day be forced to allow bulk shipments of water to its giant neighbour, a left-leaning think tank said on Thursday.

The Polaris Institute demanded that Canada pass a law banning the bulk export of water to the United States. Ottawa says such exports are already blocked under the North American Free Trade Agreement, which the two leading US Democratic presidential candidates want to rewrite.

"The US primaries ... have quite clearly indicated there is a real possibility NAFTA will be reopened and renegotiated and if that's the case, we certainly need to be much better prepared," said Tony Clarke of Polaris.

"And one of the issues that needs to be on the table is taking water off the table," he told reporters.


Trade Minister David Emerson said there was no truth to the suggestion that NAFTA could one day be used to force Canada to export water to the United States.

"Water under NAFTA is acknowledged not to be a traded good and indeed there is a clear prohibition in Canada on any removal of bulk water from trans-border water basins," he told reporters.

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