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SPU Goes Blue : A Pledge for Water Sustainability and Access

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OTTAWA, Wednesday, January 24, 2024 – Today, Saint Paul University (SPU) proudly announced its commitment to become a Blue Community. With this pledge, the university has taken an important step to promote water sustainability and social responsibility.

“Every Blue Community adopts principles that treat water as a common good – one that is shared by everyone and the responsibility of all.” said Mark Calzavara, National Water Campaigner for the Council of Canadians. “The best way to protect water is for communities to work together and take tangible action. Every university, every municipality, every faith community can make this commitment. Together we can ensure that there is water for everyone, forever.”

For its part, SPU has committed to the following principals:

  1. Recognizing water and sanitation as human rights.
  2. Raising awareness about the human rights to water and sanitation.
  3. Banning the sale of bottled water on campus and at events.
  4. Educating community members and partners to avoid using bottled water where potable water exists.
  5. Ensuring the responsible use of tap water through infrastructure improvements.
  6. Urging community members and other post-secondary institutions to advocate for sustainable water policies worldwide, giving particular attention to the rights of marginalized groups, communities, and individuals.
  7. Promoting water as a public good, and not a private commodity

“Social justice, citizen engagement and environmental responsibility are guiding priorities for our institution,” said Chantal Beauvais, Rector of Saint Paul University. “By taking this Blue Community pledge, our university community is taking meaningful steps to ensure that our actions reflect our commitment to fostering a healthier planet and the well-being of current and future generations.”

“We are immensely proud to welcome Saint Paul University to the Blue Communities Project. In making this commitment, the University joins over a hundred organizations worldwide who have shown leadership and vision for the future success of its students and our world,” said Maude Barlow, best-selling author, renowned water activist, co-founder of the Blue Planet Project and the founder of the Council of Canadians.

The Blue Community commitment aligns with SPU’s broader social responsibility initiatives, which includes divesting from fossil fuel-based funds and prioritizing investments in enterprises that are socially and environmentally responsible.

About Blue Communities

The Blue Communities Project was initiated in 2009 by the Council of Canadians, the Blue Planet Project and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). The movement has grown internationally with Paris, France, Bern, Switzerland and other municipalities around the world going “blue.” Schools, religious communities and faith-based groups have also adopted principles that treat water as a common good that is shared by everyone and is the responsibility of all.

For more information, visit canadians.org/bluecommunities/

About Saint Paul University

Founded in 1848, Saint Paul University is an institution steeped in tradition with values focused on creating a more just and humane future. With programs specialized in human and social sciences, Saint Paul University seeks to drive positive social change and empower communities through research and innovation. For more information, please visit ustpaul.ca.

For more information, please contact:
Julie Bourassa
Communications Officer, Saint Paul University
613-236-1393, ext. 2310

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