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Event: The Public Trust Doctrine & the Future of Water in BC

2011 March 21, by Chapter Council


The Public Trust Doctrine & the Future of Water in BC

Wednesday, March 23rd @ 7:00 pm
Burnside Gorge Community, Activity Centre
471 Cecelia Road, Victoria BC

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As a part of World Water Day activities we are very excited to host a presentation by Jim Olson, one of the world’s foremost experts in the public trust doctrine.

The Government of BC is currently involved in the “Modernization of the BC Water Act“, a process that has suggested the introduction of a market-based allocation system for water licenses (or a water market). The implications of such a framework are very serious. Water-markets would essentially remove regulatory control over the allocation of water and allow for allocation priorities to be determined by a market and purchasing power. Corporate interests would be prioritized over the interests needs of ecosystems and the public. The current act also has a “first in time, first in right” policy that prevents the establishment of priorities for use of water in the province. See our earlier action alert on what needs to be done on this issue.

Mr. Olson, an environmental attorney based in Michigan, has been practising and writing about environmental, water, and public trust law for over 35 years. He and his firm have been involved in a variety of state and federal court decisions, including over 30 appellate court decisions that have protected land, water, public access, parklands, wetlands, wilderness, rivers and lakes, the Great Lakes, and public trust, and that have prevented or remedied sprawl and toxic pollution. He was featured in two recent documentary films, “FLOW: For Love of Water” and “Blue Gold.” Mr. Olson will be speaking about the public trust doctrine as an alternative to a market-based allocation system for water.
Join us on March 23rd to hear about the concerns about the direction of the Water Act modernization process and hear about a real alternatives that can prioritize social and ecological demands for water.

This event is organized and endorsed by:
Council of Canadians and the Victoria Local Chapter of the Council of Canadians
Canadian Union of Public Employees – BC
Wilderness Committee
Sierra Club

For more information please call 604.340.2455 or email

Photo courtesy John Schanlaub’s flickr photo stream used under a Creative Commons licence.