Living Waters Rally: Oct.3-5, 2014

October 6, 2014 – This past weekend, 110 delegates of Living Waters Rally 2014 — representing recreational, indigenous, cottage association, faith, philanthropic, environmental, business, academic, and arts and culture groups from across Canada—came together to discuss the future of Canada’s freshwaters.

Click below for a short videoblog from FOCA’s Executive Director:

Here are some perspectives and a declaration about the future, following this biennial gathering of Canada’s freshwater leaders in Ottawa/Gatineau:

Canada’s waters are under threat. Lakes are choked by algae blooms. Rivers are overflowing their banks, with others dangerously close to drying up. Drinking water supplies are compromised. Struggling fish populations are often unfit for consumption.

We are blessed in Canada to still have some of the world’s most pristine waters and thus a global obligation to protect them and to restore those waters that are suffering — before it’s too late. Healthy, living waters are essential to the health and prosperity of our communities and the survival of all species.

The people of Canada deserve to know the health of their home waters and that many are increasingly at risk, and need to be able to know which ones are healthy. We need regular, independent public assessment of and reporting on the health of our waters.

Protecting and restoring the health of our waters will require leadership. Canada needs a legal and policy framework that sets a high standard of accountability and transparency.

We invite many more people and organizations to be engaged in the protection and restoration of Canada’s freshwater. We will build and strengthen the water movement to ensure that all our waters are in good health—swimmable, drinkable and fishable.


FOCA and our member associations have an important role to ensure our actions support sustainable lakes and rivers, and that we speak out when their health is under threat.

*MORE: The massive Mackenzie River Basin was the subject of a 2013 documentary, Cold Amazon. At 4,241 km it is Canada’s longest river, draining 1/5th of Canada, or 1.8 million km². NWT’s Great Bear Lake is the largest lake located entirely within Canada, with a surface area of 31,328 km². Compare this with some of Ontario’s giants:

  • Lake Nipigon  4,848 km²
  • Lake of the Woods  3,150 km²
  • Lac Seul  1,657 km²
  • Lake Nipissing  873km²
  • Lake Simcoe  725 km²


Michelle LewinLiving Waters Rally: Oct.3-5, 2014