Over here, Cathie from Canada has a piece on the politics of selling Canada's water, but I'm a little confused on one point. In the article that Cathie links to, we have the following from the Council of Canadians' Maude Barlow:
Barlow says the federal government can't legally ban bulk water exports because water is included in NAFTA.
However, from this online piece from back in 2004, we read:
The environmentalists successfully argued that allowing Gisborne Lake water to be sold in bulk would make Canadian water a "commodity" and thus subject to the terms and conditions of GATT and NAFTA.
So, is water covered by NAFTA or not? I seem to recall that the contentious issue about starting to sell water abroad was that, the instant Canada started to do that, water would immediately be re-classified as a "commodity" under NAFTA, at which point Canada would no longer have control over its own water supply.
So, is water a NAFTA commodity or not?
SNARKY IRONY: I love the opening of the article to which Cathie links:
There was an edge of frustration in Paul Cellucci's voice when he raised the topic of fresh water exports in a radio interview last month.
"Canada has probably one of the largest resources of fresh water in the world," the former U.S. ambassador said during a debate on Canada-U.S. relations.
"Water is going to be - already is - a very valuable commodity and I've always found it odd where Canada is so willing to sell oil and natural gas and uranium and coal, which are by their very nature finite. But talking about water is off the table, and water is renewable.
"It doesn't make any sense to me."
Hey, Paul. Fucking over Canada to the tune of five billion dollars on illegal softwood lumber tariffs doesn't make any sense to us. Funny how that works, isn't it?