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Help push the Ontario government to do better on bottled water

Glen Murray, Ontario’s minister of the environment and climate change

Please keep up the pressure on the Ontario government with respect to bottled water takings!

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has issued a media release that highlights the Ontario government is now:

  • engaging Indigenous partners on groundwater management

  • consulting with communities and industry on changes to groundwater management practices.

While not fully there just yet, these actions are reflective of the demands made in our online action alert which calls on the government to:

  • seek the free, prior and informed consent of affected Indigenous peoples

  • prioritize community use over corporate interests for water resources in Ontario.

To date, 3,464 people have sent these demands to the Ontario government via The Council of Canadians website.

Unfortunately, the Ontario government is also proposing that bottled water corporations like Nestle pay $503.71 for every million litres of groundwater taken. While that’s a $500 increase over the current rate, it amounts to just .0165 cents for a 350ml single use bottle of water that is sold for considerably more. For that reason, it’s not surprising that Nestle immediately agreed to the proposed rate.

Earlier this week, CBC reported, “Mark Calzavara, the Ontario organizer for the Council of Canadians, said raising the price won’t protect ‘vulnerable aquifers’. ‘The government must stop allowing companies to take groundwater for single-use bottled water sales’, Calzavara said in a release. ‘Bottled water is a frivolous and wasteful use of a precious resource. Charging higher fees won’t replace the water that is removed from the aquifer and shipped out of the watershed.'” The Canadian Press also carried the same quote that appeared in numerous newspapers.

To send a message to the Ontario government – that demands a phasing out of current permits for single-use bottled water facilities and a permanent moratorium on new permits – please go to our online action alert before the Ontario government’s deadline of Tuesday January 31.

For more on about our water campaign, please click here.