A CBC investigative report has found that, “A bottled-water company (Aquablue International) that was supposed to take over a former Hershey’s chocolate factory in Smiths Falls, Ont., is still hunting for money to buy the building and the equipment for its production line.”
“The company plans to bottle 300 million litres of water per year, largely for export (to the United States and Europe). However, Aquablue president Dan Villeneuve confirmed that the company hasn’t yet completed a lease-to-own agreement with Hershey. Nor has it ordered its equipment.”
“The company remains committed to getting the plant operational by next June.” Aquablue had intended to start operations this coming January or February.
That said, the company reportedly has less than $40,000 in capital, while $40 million is needed to proceed with the bottled water plant.
Notably, it is now also being reported that, “On the company’s website, Aquablue’s CEO is listed as Manuel de Silva, who in the fall was facing a charge of fraud involving another bottled-water company (Aquagold). He agreed to pay $5,000 to another investor and the charge was dropped.”
The Council of Canadians first started raising concerns in May 2009 about Aquablue International setting up a bottled water operation in Smiths Falls. More on that at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=554 and http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=799.
Critical media attention on the bottling plant began with a June 3 Ottawa Citizen article in which Maude Barlow was extensively quoted. That’s at http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Smiths+Falls+attracts+water+company/1656215/story.html.