Skip to content

PEI chapter calls on provincial government to oppose bottled water, protect groundwater

PEI chapter activist Leo Broderick and Maude Barlow.

The Council of Canadians PEI chapter is calling on the Government of Prince Edward Island to stop using bottled water and reject the proposed Brookvale bottled water operation.

In a letter to the editor published in the The Guardian, chapter activist Leo Broderick writes, “Recently at a meeting with the P.E.I. Minister of Health and Wellness, we graciously were offered bottled water that was from a bottle water company in Quebec. We declined and asked for tap water. Sometime ago, the Council of Canadians asked the province to ban the use of bottled water in government facilities and offices. We thought the government had stopped the practice of using bottled water.”

Broderick then highlights, “We suggest again that the P.E.I. Government stop using bottled water, and do as the City of Charlottetown did a few years ago, and ban the use of bottled water at its meetings and in its facilities.”

In April 2007, Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee responded to a request from the Council of Canadians and took action to become one of the first cities in Canada to ban bottled water in all city premises and workplaces and at all city council and committee meetings. And in March 2009, the Guardian reported, “Premier Robert Ghiz says the province is seriously discussing a ban on bottled water within government facilities.The issue was brought up when the senior water adviser to the United Nations and Council of Canadians chair Maude Barlow met with the premier to discuss her concerns about access to clean water on P.E.I.”

Broderick then notes, “The Council of Canadians is calling on the P.E.I. Government to put a halt to Pure Island Water’s plans to open a water bottling company in Brookvale. We believe our ground water belongs to all of us and it is not for sale. In a meeting on Sept. 13, the P.E.I. Minister of the Environment told us that the proposal meets all the regulatory requirements and there is no need for an environmental review. And that he, as Minister, can do nothing to stop this business from selling our ground water.”

Earlier this month, CBC reported, “A water bottling company, Pure Island Waters Ltd., has plans to set up a water bottling plant in Brookvale, P.E.I. …The company states it hopes to start by producing 84,000 litres per week, which it says is the equivalent amount of water used by 10 households. …At full capacity, the plant would use 100 cubic metres — or 100,000 litres — of water per day according to the company, at a water draw rate of 15 gallons per minute. The company wants to build three new wells in the area for the plant — one for bottling water, another as a backup and the third for the geothermal heating system.”

Broderick’s letter to the editor concludes, “We therefore are asking Premier Wade MacLauchlan to do what it takes to protect our groundwater from companies that see our groundwater as a commodity for exploitation and profit making. The Pure Island Water business must not be allowed to put our groundwater up for sale.”

Further reading
PEI chapter against proposed bottled water plant in Brookvale (September 2016)
PEI chapter wants Charlottetown, Summerside and other municipalities to become blue communities (April 2016)
Broderick speaks on the proposed P.E.I. Water Act (October 2015)
PEI considers ban of bottled water in government offices (March 2009)