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DAM-L About piping Canadian water to the American southwest (fwd)
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From: Right to Water <email@example.com>
Subject: About piping Canadian water to the American southwest
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 01:15:40 -0500
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Right to Water (firstname.lastname@example.org) Posted: 07/27/2001 By email@example.com
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Bush eager for talks on Canadian water By BARRIE MCKENNA
With a report from Mark MacKinnon in Ottawa, Globe and Mail, Wednesday,
July 18, 2001, Print Edition,
WASHINGTON -- U.S. President George W. Bush says he wants to talk to Prime
Minister Jean Chrétien about piping Canadian water to the parched American
southwest, possibly as early as this weekend when the two meet at the
annual summit of Group of Eight countries.
"Our nation must develop a comprehensive water strategy, particularly as
these western states continue to grow," Mr. Bush told The Globe and Mail in a
meeting yesterday with a select group of foreign reporters at the White
Bulk water exports were specifically excluded from the North American free
trade agreement and Ottawa says it's against the practice.
The G8 industrialized countries include Canada, the United States, Japan,
Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Russia. Mr. Bush said he's ready to
talk to Mr. Chrétien "any time" about reopening the debate to quench the
growing U.S. thirst for water.
"I look forward to discussing this with the Prime Minister . . . at any time
because water is valuable for a lot of our countries," he said.
He said he would be open to "any discussions" about a possible continental
water pact -- along the lines of the co-operation talks now under way between
Canada, the United States and Mexico on energy.
It is believed to be the first time that Mr. Bush has raised the issue of
Canadian-water imports. Nor do Canadian officials recall former president Bill
Clinton ever speaking on the issue.
"Water will forever be an issue in the United States, particularly the western
part of the United States," Mr. Bush said. "I'm from a part of the world where
. there was no water," he said of Midland, Tex., where he grew up and
later worked in the oil business.
He noted that when world oil prices crashed in the early 1980s, to less than
$10 a barrel, it seemed like water was worth more than oil.
Speaking to a small group of foreign journalists in the ornate presidential
dining room, Mr. Bush also said he's ready to consider all pipeline routes
Arctic natural gas to the lower 48 states as quickly as possible.
Under NAFTA, water is exempted from rules that require an open two-way
trade in commodities.
However, the agreement states that once Canada starts trading in bulk water,
free-trade provisions will kick in, requiring open trade to continue. That
could limit the power of federal and provincial governments to restrict water
In Ottawa yesterday, Liberal MP Clifford Lincoln, a former Quebec
environment minister, slammed President Bush for wading into Canadian
"I think President Bush wants us to become hewers of wood and drawers of
water for him. He wants Canada to supply natural resources for an American
appetite that's out of control."
Mr. Lincoln said Mr. Bush, who recently pulled his country out of the Kyoto
accord on global warming, is promoting an irresponsible agenda that promotes
consumption with little regard for conservation.
Conservative MP John Herron also said he felt Mr. Bush was entering into a
debate in which he had no place.
Public-opinion polls suggest a majority of Canadians say bulk water exports
should be allowed, as long as governments regulate where they go and for
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