Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Urgent Action Alert to Prime Minister Stephen Harper: Vote YES, Water is a Human Right

June 21, 2010



On Wednesday, June 23, the United Nations will vote on a crucial motion recognizing water as a human right. Please act now to tell Prime Minister Harper: Vote YES, Water is a Human Right.


As Canada prepares to host the world’s leaders at this weekend’s G8 and G20 Summit meetings, Canada has, in fact, obstructed the recognition of water as a human right that could make a real difference for the 1.2 billion people across the globe who do not have access to clean water and the 2.6 billion without access to basic sanitation.


Many of us take water quality for granted, yet communities here in Canada, particularly Aboriginal communities; still suffer from dirty drinking water. While the water shortage is a global crisis, corporations are taking control of limited water supplies for huge profits. Water is essential to life, and is a public resource that rightfully belongs to all of us.


Prime Minister Stephen Harper has declared maternal and child health as priority areas of focus at the G8 and G20 meetings. There is no question that new investment to get the millennium development goals back on track, particularly those that would reduce maternal and child mortality rates is urgently needed. However, registered nurses know that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential determinants of health.


According to the Council of Canadians, a child dies every eight seconds from drinking dirty water.[1] That is simply unacceptable. There is no excuse not to recognize water as a basic human right immediately!


What You Can Do TODAY


Please tell the Prime Minister, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton, that RNs know that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to health. Canada must vote YES, water is a human right.


Remember, the vote is this Wednesday, June 23.  Please don’t delay.


  1. Email the letter below to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. A copy will also automatically be sent to Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff  and NDP Leader Jack Layton.

  1. Please share this action alert with your colleagues, friends and family and ask them to write as well.



Below is the email that will be sent automatically to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and copied to Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and NDP Leader Jack Layton. You are welcome to add examples from your professional and personal lives to illustrate why clean drinking water and sanitation is important to you.


[1] Council of Canadians