Poll: Majority of Ontarians want Nestlé to sell well to local community

Media Release
December 16, 2016

Two-thirds of Ontarians want Nestlé to sell its Elora well to the Township of Centre Wellington. These are the findings of a new poll by Oraclepoll Research, released yesterday by the Council of Canadians.

The poll also found that two-thirds of people in Ontario agree that the provincial government should phase out all bottled water takings and hold a series of public consultations to determine how water use is prioritized in the province. Ninety-three per cent of Ontarians want the provincial government to prioritize drinking water needs of communities over bottled water takings.

In August, Nestlé bought the Elora well – despite the local municipality’s attempt to purchase it to safeguard their municipal water supply. On Monday, Nestlé Waters Canada proposed a “partnership” with the local township to share the well.

“People across Ontario are calling for a permanent phase-out of all bottled water takings. People do not want companies like Nestlé to profit from water,” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “The poll shows that Ontarians understand very well that water is a human right and that the drinking water of local communities should be prioritized over commercial water bottling companies.”

“Based on these numbers, the Ontario government needs to work towards phasing out all bottled water permits, not just new or expanded permits,” says Emma Lui, national water campaigner for the Council of Canadians. “For too long, the Permit to Take Water system has haphazardly been issuing water permits. This must stop, and the Ontario government must begin truly protecting water for communities.”

Summary of results:

  • 68% support the provincial government requiring Nestlé to sell the Elora well to the Township of Centre Wellington.
  • 65% support a permanent phase-out of all permits for bottled water takings (water bottling operations) by the Ontario government.
  • 93% support the provincial government placing a priority on the drinking water needs of local communities over any pending applications from commercial bottling companies to acquire groundwater sources.
  • 69% support the Ontario government holding a series of public consultations to determine how water use is prioritized in the province.

A total of n=1200 respondents were interviewed in the survey. The margin of error for the sample is +/- 2.8%, 19/20 times. Surveys were conducted by telephone using live operators between December 8 and December 13, 2016.

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