Water Pledge officially signed at MUN orientation event
ST. JOHN'S, Sept. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Students joined Memorial University of
Newfoundland's (MUN) president pro tempore, Dr. Chris Loomis, yesterday to
officially sign a Water Pledge that commits the university to progressively
eliminate the distribution of bottled water at all of MUN's campuses in
Newfoundland and Labrador.
"By working together, students, faculty and staff have sent a clear
message that MUN is ready to lead the way in making our campuses and
communities more environmentally sustainable," said Daniel Smith, Newfoundland
and Labrador Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "We urge
other institutions across Canada to take similar action to protect our public
drinking water as a right and not as a commodity."
MUN is only the second university in Canada to commit to phasing out
bottled water. The pledge also commits the university to increasing access to
water fountains and water fill stations on its campuses by upgrading current
water infrastructure. Thirteen water fill stations have already been installed
over the summer months.
In March 2009, the Students for Sustainability Coalition at MUN - a
coalition consisting of students' unions and on-campus and community
environmental organizations - launched a campaign calling on the university
administration to improve access to public drinking water in an effort to make
the university bottled water free. The coalition's efforts were part of an
ongoing national student campaign organised by the Canadian Federation of
Students, the Sierra Youth Coalition and the Polaris Institute.
"Memorial is the first university east of Manitoba and the second
university in Canada to kick-out the bottle and take back the tap" said Elly
Adeland, of the Polaris Institute, "This action is part of a trend we are
seeing within campuses, school boards and municipalities, where communities
challenge the corporate control of water, while re-building and maintaining
safe and accessible public tap water systems for all."
The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student
organisation. It is composed of more than 80 university and college students'
unions with a combined membership of over a half million, including 25,000
members in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Polaris Institute works on major public policy issues like water and
develops new tools and strategies to assist social movements in fighting for
democratic social change in an age of corporate driven globalization.
For further information: Daniel Smith, Newfoundland and Labrador
Chairperson, (709) 737-3204 (office), (709) 685-3203 (cell); Elly Adeland,
Water and Energy Campaigner, Polaris Institute, (613) 237-1717 (ext. 104)