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Questions about water company in Smiths Falls

The Ottawa Citizen reports that, “Aquablue Spring Water International, a British Columbia bottled water company, has acquired the vacant Hershey chocolate factory in Smiths Falls.”
JUNE 17 NEWS CONFERENCE
“Tom Ondrejicka, Aquablue’s marketing director, said a news conference was scheduled for June 17 to explain plans for producing bottled water and other unspecified beverages.”

JOBS?
“(Ondrejicka) did not say how many people the bottling plant would employ or when it would open.”

“Mayor Dennis Staples said he is delighted that Aquablue will take over the factory, but added he could not say whether the new plant will replace jobs lost because of the Hershey’s closing.”

WHAT WATER WILL BE USED?
“The mayor said some of the bottled water to be sold by Aquablue would be drawn from the Rideau River. Aquablue spokesman Tom Ondrejicka said the water would come from a variety of sources, but did not reveal them.”

“Aquablue’s website says the water it bottles in British Columbia comes from the Schoen Glacier and Adam River on Vancouver Island.”

WHERE WILL IT BE SOLD?
“Ondrejicka said. ‘We will be selling the water across Canada and wherever the market will bear the product.’”

“Aquablue sells its water in North America, the Middle East, China, Japan and India.”

CONCERNS
In the article, Maude Barlow says, “They are surely not going to be trucking glacial water to Smiths Falls. I think they are going to be taking water from the Tay River. Everybody wants Smiths Falls to do well, but bottled water has a limited life ahead of it. They are investing in an industry where they will be up against local groups that will be worried about their water declining. If they are taking water from the Tay River, there is going to be a fight.”

“Barlow said area farmers could end up competing with the bottled water plant for diminishing water resources.”

Maude adds, “When you have good clean, safe water coming out or your tap in Ontario you don’t need bottled water. Bottled water is a polluting industry because it takes a large amount of oil to produce the plastic bottles and a lot of energy to ship them. We drink more than a billion litres of bottled water in Ontario yearly and, according to the plastic industry, we recycle only 35 per cent of the bottles. That means 650 to 750 million plastic water bottles go into landfill sites, waterways and wetlands each year, and it takes 500 to 1,000 years for those bottles to break down.”

The full article, ‘Smiths Falls attracts water company’, is at http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Life/Smiths+Falls+attracts+water+company/1656215/story.html

For additional information you can read our campaign blog posting on this at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=554.