I first heard Michael McSweeney speak at the Environmental Defence Gala in Toronto in February 2014. It was a great speech. He talked about threats to swimmable, drinkable, fishable water from industrial accidents and catastrophes and the threat climate change poses, especially to our urban areas.
Michael also expressed support for the environmental community. He said,
Now more than ever, we must resist the calls to return to a time when even the most dedicated and rational voices in the environmental community were seen as obstacles to progress. For someone like me, who's been active in public affairs for over 30 years, I remain shocked that actions in support of the environment and talking, and talking and talking to people about the environment could be considered “radical” in Canada in 2014.
That got me thinking. Waterkeepers know that everyone has a personal connection to water. Whether that connection stems from a childhood spent lazily swimming and fishing every summer or is a reflection of the absence of clean water in your life. Water always leaves its mark.
Wanting a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future is normal, not radical. Needing clean water to survive is normal, not radical.
That’s why we sat down with Michael, a representative of the Cement Association of Canada. His Association has joined RBC as a major sponsor for the 2014 Waterkeeper Gala. Given his enthusiasm for friends like the filmmakers behind Watermark and his respect for the role that nonprofits can play in society, he seemed like a good candidate to ask the question - why do you care about water?
Watch the video to see his response (spoiler: it’s a good one).
The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) is the voice of Canada's cement industry. Its membership comprises eight companies with manufacturing facilities and distribution terminals from Atlantic Canada to the Pacific Coast.