Friends of the Tay Watershed

“Perspectives on Water”
Lecture Series



The Friends of the Tay Watershed began the lecture series “Perspectives on Water” in 2007 to inform and promote discussion about current issues and challenges facing our water resources.  The idea was to invite people who had a unique and, at times controversial, perspective on water to present their views as a way of enhancing the appreciation of the value of water and water resources within our community. In 2011 the Series was expanded to include a film about water (Water on The Table, with water warrior Maude Barlow), with a discussion afterwards,in collaboration with the Canadian Federation of University Women .


To date, the following “Perspectives on Water” addresses have been presented or planned:


1.     A ‘First Nation’s View of the Land and Water’, on October 18, 2007, by Paula Sherman, Ardoch Algonquin Co-Chief. Paula Sherman has been a leader for the First Nations in challenging the exploration of uranium mining in the Frontenac-Mississippi area, based on several issues - including the environmental dangers to water and land resources, native land rights and updating of the archaic Mining Act. She talked passionately of the First Nation’s responsibility for the water and the land to preserve it for future generations.

2.     The Duck’s Unlimited Perspective on Water, on February 13, 2008, with Jamie Fortune, Director of Operations for the Eastern Region. Up to 70 Percent of Canada’s original wetland has been lost in various areas of our country – with substantial impact on our environment, including the habitat of countless wildlife species.  Ducks Unlimited Canada is a Canadian leader in addressing this problem, with a major wetland conservation program in this region based on strategic management of available water resources.  To accomplish this, DUC volunteers and staff manage almost 98% of the water-taking permits in the Tay watershed alone. 

3.     Maude Barlow’s Perspective on Water on September 24, 2008. Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of The Council of Canadians, Canada’s largest public advocacy organization, and an outspoken champion for water resources around the globe. Ms. Barlow gave a compelling account of the global dangers posed by the diminishing quantity of potable water in various parts of the world and the need to view the access to clean water as a human right.

4.     Gord Giffin’s Perspective on the Rideau and Tay Canals on November 4, 2008. With the prospect of the 175th anniversary of the Tay Canal in 2009, Gordon Giffin, the Superintendent of the Rideau Canal, spoke on the ‘Rideau and Tay Canals Navigating the World Stage and what it means for this region’.

5.     Bruce Davidson  speaking on Walkerton The Cost of Getting It Wrong Understanding the Consequences of Failing to Protect Drinking Water from Source to Tap” on November 16, 2009.  Bruce Davidson of Concerned Walkerton Citizens spoke about the tragedy that shocked Canada and led to the Clean Water Act. He delivered a unique and personal perspective of the Walkerton Water Tragedy and its consequences from the point of view of affected citizens of the town of 5,000 people.

6.     Water on the Table ~ A film featuring water-warrior Maude Barlow presented in collaboration with the Canadian Federation of University Women, at the Myriad Theatre on January 20, 2011. Special guest Emma Lui, national water campaigner with the Council of Canadians, will participate in a discussion of this memorable film. In the film, director Liz Marshall takes us on the road with Barlow during 2008 and 2009 after she became the UN senior advisor on water, as she works to preserve threatened freshwater systems in towns all over Canada. The film captures the public face of Maude Barlow as well as the unscripted woman behind the scenes as it explores Canada’s relationship to its fresh water, our most precious natural resource.


Additional talks in this “Perspectives on Waterseries are planned for the coming months.