The Centre Wellington and Guelph chapters jointly marched against Nestle this past May.
The Council of Canadians Centre Wellington chapter will be taking part in a SaveOurWater.ca rally against Nestle on October 31 starting at 6:00 pm.
The Facebook promotion for the rally notes, “Rally at MacDonald Square! Lets Makes some Noise! Show Mayor and Council you support a resolution to say no to the Middlebrook Well Permit! Join the Drops in the Bucket Rhythm Band (We are all members!) Bring noise makers, drums, shakers, be creative and bring your WATERPOWER to support Mayor and Council to tell the province to SAVE OUR WATER! We have treats for the kids, speakers, petitions, and info on how you can support the province’s proposed moratorium. Its Halloween so stop by the township square, show your support and then get on with your evening!”
The Centre Wellington chapter and allies are calling on the Township of Centre Wellington to pass a resolution expressing its opposition to Nestle’s application to test water at the Middlebrook Well.
Chapter activist Diane Ballantyne says, “Join in to say No to Nestle! Yes, there is a two year Provincial moratorium on bottled water permits… [but] we need our Council to stand firm and see their constituents demanding they use all their political power to protect our water!”
The outreach notes, “We need you to show you support for protecting our Municipal and local resident’s wells and water sources from a possible Permit to take Water Application from Nestlé Waters Canada. Tell the Township we want them to take a stand and tell the province that local water needs cannot and should not have to compete with consumptive water permits.”
Local residents who cannot be at the rally should contact their councillor using this information to tell them that they are opposed to Nestle’s application.
The Centre Wellington chapter and allies have expressed concern that Nestle’s plan to extract 1.6 million litres of water a day from the Middlebrook well could deplete the drinking water supply for the growing population in the area and that wells in the vicinity could be contaminated.
The call for a resolution in Centre Wellington had been in the works for months prior to the motion that will be debated by Guelph City Council on November 7. That motion calls on the City of Guelph to send a letter to the province expressing council’s “concern that the permit to take water is not in the best interest of the City of Guelph and the watershed shared by the City of Guelph”.
A City of Guelph report now says Nestle water-takings also pose a risk to Guelph’s drinking water security. The City report says, “[There are] limits to the available groundwater to satisfy Guelph’s future water supply needs. …In the future, there is the potential for the Nestlé taking to constrain municipal water taking in the south end of Guelph, which may result in financial impacts as Guelph looks for other, potentially more remote and expensive water supply options. …As such, future renewals of industrial water takings in the area should be weighed against the broader needs of the community, the potential risk that available supply may not meet future demand and that the continued water takings may not be sustainable without proper management of the resource.”
And the Canadian Press reports, “Ontario’s environmental commissioner is urging the Liberal government to get better information about the province’s groundwater as it reviews the permits for bottled water companies. Environmental commissioner Dianne Saxe said the government doesn’t have enough data to know what’s happening with ground water in Ontario. The environmental watchdog warned that climate change will increase the amount of stress placed on water with more frequent and longer droughts, but said the province still allows millions of litres to be taken every day out of the ground.”
The Council of Canadians Centre Wellington chapter was formed in June 2015. In October 2015, they hosted a public forum with Barlow that drew 300 people to hear about the Middlebrook issue. In February 2016, they helped organize another public forum on the issue that featured Barlow, chapter activist Diane Ballantyne, Mike Nagy from Wellington Water Watchers, and a representative from SaveOurWater.ca. In May, the chapter participated in a 12-kilometre march from Guelph City Hall to the Nestle bottled water facility in Aberfoyle to oppose Nestle water takings.
For more on our campaign to stop Nestle, please click here.