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Council challenges Nestle on bottled water

In a letter to the editor published in the National Post on Monday, Nestle executive John Challinor writes in response to an article about bottled water bans that, “Relying on information from the Council of Canadians, this article states that ’27 municipalities across the country are phasing out or restricting the sale and purchase of bottled water in municipal buildings and at city events.’ This is incorrect. Eleven municipalities and two school boards have banned the sale of bottled water on their properties over the last three years and 36 local governments have rejected calls for bans over the last eight months. Another 17 jurisdictions are currently reviewing their options.”

In response, Council of Canadians water campaigner Meera Karunananthan wrote in a letter published in the National Post today that, “Nestle spokesman John Challinor disputes the Council of Canadians’ statement that 27 municipalities across the country are phasing out or restricting the sale and purchase of bottled water. We know, through working with our chapters and with our allies in many communities, of at least 27 bans on bottled water. We expect this number to increase sharply after the recent Federation of Canadian Municipalities decision to encourage all Canadian municipalities to phase out the sale of bottled water. Bottled water bans are even being considered by provincial governments. Canadians are sending a strong message about their faith in public drinking water. It’s time for the bottled water industry to take heed.”

Meera’s letter to the editor can be read at http://www.nationalpost.com/scripts/story.html?id=1379494.

Interestingly, the letter was published without the line, “After a meeting with Council of Canadians chairperson and UN senior advisor on water Maude Barlow, PEI premier Robert Ghiz told the Charlottetown Guardian the province was ‘seriously discussing a ban on bottled water within government facilities.'”