This judge says you don't have a right to clean water

This judge says you don't have a right to clean water r1 ... View this e-mail in your browser. Nearly two months ago, a reader tip landed in our inbox with the subject line: “Do you have the right to clean water in B.C.?”

“We have been trying to protect our watershed from logging for the past three years,” read the email from Heather McSwan, a volunteer with the Glade Watershed Protection Society.

After noticing logging tape beside the creek that provides the community its drinking water, Heather and her fellow residents went to court to try to stop the logging.

“Do you have a right to clean water?” B.C. Supreme Court Justice Mark McEwan said in court. “I’d suggest you don’t … there just is nowhere in the law where you can look and say, ‘there it is — there’s my right. I have a right to clean water.’ ”

That caught my attention.

This week, we’ve published the resulting story: ‘You can’t drink money’: Kootenay communities fight logging to protect their drinking water.

Here’s the thing: the tale of Glade is not unique. Across B.C., communities like Glade are grappling with imminent plans for clear-cut logging in watersheds that supply their drinking, irrigation and, in some cases, fire-fighting water.

“Glade is a microcosm, one example of a huge problem throughout the province of B.C.,” said registered professional forester Herb Hammond.

Our small team at The Narwhal hears from so many communities fighting battles like these, we struggle to keep up. Stories like this one are made possible through the monthly support we receive from our 750 members.

If you think these stories are worth telling, please become a monthly member today. We're a non-profit and rely on your support to make our in-depth and investigative journalism possible.

Keep scrolling for much more from this past week!
Emma Gilchrist Editor-in-chief

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