If there are any human rights at all, the right to life itself has to be the first one. From this it follows logically, as surely as banging your head produces pain, that the most essential means to continued life must also be human rights. Top of the list of essential means to life must be air and water of sufficient quality to sustain life.
As a Canadian I am disappointed and ashamed that, instead of leading the charge, Canada chose to join 41 other countries who abstained from voting for the recent UN resolution declaring access to clean water and sanitation is a human right.
Does this have something to do with the fact that so many aboriginal communities (more than 100 according to today's editorial in the Toronto Star) are on "boil water" advisories or relying on emergency deliveries of drinking water and that voting with the UN resolution would appear hypocritical. I get the impression that neither Conservatives nor Liberals in Canada are too concerned with First Nations issues. This can only be because they do not see the Aboriginal vote as having much impact on their fortunes.
Can you imagine how long Torontonians or "905'ers" would tolerate being on a boil water advisory or being told it is dangerous to shower?