For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Sujata Dey

Media Officer for The Council of Canadians

1-800-387-7177 ext. 226 | Cell: 613-796-7724 |

As Shut-offs Enter Third Month, Canadians to Bring Water to Detroit, Demand Obama Declare State of Emergency

CANADA - July 21 -  Unable to cook, bathe, or brush their teeth, thousands of Detroiters are now entering their third month without running water. To support their neighbours across the border, the Windsor chapter of the Council of Canadians will send a convoy of 1000 litres of water to Detroit with a message for President Obama.


“The human suffering is that of a major disaster, one that grows every day,” says Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “I ask Obama, with his sense of justice, to intervene and to declare a state of emergency. It is appalling that this has been allowed to happen, even more so to go on this long.


At the initiation of Barlow’s global water advocacy organization, the Blue Planet Project,and Detroit groupsthree UN experts including Catarina de Albuquerque, Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, warned that the mass water shut-offs were a violation of human rights.


Barlow adds, “Water is a human right, and it is unacceptable in a country of plenty, surrounded by the Great Lakes, the largest source of fresh water in the world, that people should go without.”


The convoy and rally are being organized by the Windsor chapter of the Council of Canadians and the Detroit People’s Water Board. It will cross the U.S.-Canada border with 50 jugs of water on Thursday, July 24.  At a rally at the Spirit of Detroit statue, Barlow will speak along with Maureen Taylor from the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization. 



Never Miss a Beat.

Get our best delivered to your inbox.

“I am doing this because as good neighbours, we need to show our solidarity,” says Doug Hayes from the Windsor chapter of the Council of Canadians. “But while these jugs of water will help, it is not the solution. We need Obama to get involved and ensure human rights are restored.”



The Council’s water campaigner, Emma Lui, says that the planned privatization of Detroit’s water system is the problem. “They are cutting off 150,000 households so that the company will look more lucrative to private investors. But this is just a recipe for more human suffering.”


The Council of Canadians is urging the city to implement the original water affordability program written by Michigan Welfare Rights Organization.


When: Thursday, July 24th, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.

Where:  Spirit of Detroit statue (Woodward and Jefferson) The convoy will deliver the jugs of water to St. Peter’s Church after the rally.


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s leading social action organization, mobilizing a network of 60 chapters across the country.

Share This Article