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Safe water a human right: Canadians

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ALMOST all Canadians believe clean water should be guaranteed as a human right, according to a poll to be released in Winnipeg this month by the Trudeau Foundation and the University of Manitoba.

Of those surveyed, 96 per cent said water should be a guaranteed right, while only two per cent said it should not -- the strongest response to any of the six emerging rights the pollsters proposed.

"The public is concerned about this question of water and environmental problems much more than we think," said Trudeau Foundation president Pierre-Gerlier Forest. "I find it quite encouraging."

The support for clean water as a human right was solid across income groups, education levels and regions of the country. Adults under the age of 45 were a bit more supportive, as were women.

The findings suggest the Harper government may be out of touch with Canadian citizens on water rights. In July, Canada abstained when the United Nations passed a resolution stating "the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights."

Full results of the national survey will be released at the Montreal-based charity's annual policy conference, to be held Nov. 18-20 at the Fort Garry Hotel.

Question:

Please tell me whether you think each of the

following should, or should not, be guaranteed

as a human right for all Canadians:

�óó Clean water 96% yes / 2% no

�óó Health care 96% yes / 3% no

�óó Equality -- that is, to not be

discriminated against based

on sex, race, age or disability. 94% yes / 2% no

�óó Practice one's religion of choice 92% yes / 4% no

�óó The right to a basic income

for food and shelter 87% yes / 10 % no

�óó Own property 82% yes / 14% no

The Environics survey was conducted Sept. 29 to Oct. 21

and the results are considered accurate within two

percentage points, 95 per cent of the time.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 15, 2010 H3

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