Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at Trent University, May 22, 2008
KENNEDY’S PASSION, ANGER EVIDENT IN CANADA SPEECH
Story and photo from Kawartha Media Group
An event that took so much planning on Trent University part paid off in a big way Thursday night (May 22) as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. took to the stage at the Memorial Centre.
During a speech that at times was more performance than lecture, he captured his audience’s attention. The lights were low but the sold-out crowd of 2,000 people were squarely focused on the lone figure on stage.
After speaking about his love for Canada, Mr. Kennedy mentioned that Canada still has time to prevent what has already happened in the United States, in particular government policy being written by industrial lobbyists.
“We have the worst environmental administration that we’ve ever had in history,” he said, adding that instead of distributing the goods of the land and protecting democracy, there are well-positioned people looking out for big business as opposed to what’s best for everyone.
“Regardless of how much money you have, you should be able to have clean air to breathe, clean air to drink, and, for children, to have the opportunity to proudly bring home a fish and cook it for supper…without worrying about getting poisoned. That right has been taken away.”
Like Trent University president Bonnie Patterson promised, Mr. Kennedy’s address left behind a lot to think about.
For example, Mr. Kennedy recommended that Canadians start strongly lobbying for measures that will keep the United States from taking from Canada’s water supply.
Coverage from the Orilla Packet and Times goes on to say:
Canadians should tell the United States that they will not allow exports of their country’s water to address a shortage south of the border, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said Thursday during a visit to Trent University.
“Right now, there’s a broad consensus against bulk water exports… and we think that that’s a good idea,” Kennedy told reporters. “But only 10 per cent of the water in Canada is protected.”
Kennedy, 54, urged Ottawa to “send a clear signal” to the United States by putting “strong protection on the other 90 per cent and say, ‘This is not going to the U.S.'”
Policy makers in parched southern states don’t fret about shortages, he said.
“They’ll say, ‘We don’t have to worry about this because we’ll just get the water from Canada.’
“It’s really important for us to say, ‘Canada’s not going to give us the water.’ We need to start right now implementing the kind of practices, good planning practices, that allow us to live within our resource base.”
On Thursday night, the high-profile environmental crusader was cast as the closing keynote speaker for the university’s 51st annual Conference on Great Lakes Research.
Reporters were asked to refrain from asking questions about his uncle during what was described as a trying time for the family.
And this announcement today from Canada Newswire:
TORONTO, May 23 /CNW/ – Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sent Ontario Premier
McGuinty a tersely worded letter in which he asks that the Premier reform
Ontario’s outdated mining rules and do whatever possible to halt ongoing
drilling on traditional lands of jailed First Nations’ leaders.