Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our Great Lakes Commons

Hello everyone,

I hope you've had a good day.

Mine's been tiring; did a lot of weeding and garden clearing today (a paid job). 

This gave me time to contemplate Maude Barlow's talk here in London last evening. 

You probably know that Maude Barlow is national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. (

She shared the stage last evening with Tom McClenaghan, founder of Friends of the Coves, a group dedicated to preserving and healing an important section of the Thames River here in London (Canada for any international reader!) and with Pat Donnelly, who is with the City of London and must know more about our position within a watershed than anyone down there.  They placed the city ... as it has grown around the low land area into which three branches of a river flows ... in almost the middle of Southwestern Ontario, which is ringed by lakes. 

Water.  That's what she was talking about.  The assault on our water from so many sides.

And she was talking about how we all need to do something to keep the lakes as a "commons" - an area shared by everyone, not taken over by companies that want to take the water and sell it off.

Maude has recently written a document titled Our Great Lakes Commons: a people's plan to protect the Great Lakes forever.  It is a background paper calling us "to action on an exciting new proposal to designate the Great Lakes and its tributary waters as a lived Commons, to be shared, protected, carefully managed and enjoyed by all who live around them." This will require personal, community, and political action.

I haven't finished it all yet, but the idea of treating the lakes - our watershed, the water that makes us live - as something essential to us and needing care by all of us because we and it are all the same being, is an ideal I'm willing to work for.

Best regards to all,

Why's Woman

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