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WIN! Council successfully challenges Nestle permit for water takings during drought conditions


In February 2013, the Council of Canadians and Wellington Water Watchers, with legal representation from Ecojustice, launched a challenge against an Ontario Ministry of Environment decision to change a permit issued to Nestle Waters Canada (for a well the company owns in Hillsburgh) by removing conditions that would make it mandatory for it to reduce its water takings during droughts. 

In the affidavit we submitted that April we made the argument to the Environmental Review Tribunal that in doing so the Ontario government had failed in its duty to protect the public trust.

By August, our three groups were celebrating the tribunal’s ruling that rejected the deal between Nestle and the environment ministry. The tribunal ruled that the settlement agreement between Nestle and the ministry was not in the public interest and was inconsistent with the Ontario Water Resources Act and that the matter would go to a hearing.

And then on September 17, Nestle announced it was withdrawing its appeal of drought restrictions on its water permit in Hillsburgh!

Further reading
Lui challenges Nestle’s arguments about water-takings in Ontario (June 13, 2013 blog)
CBC-TV National report on our challenge against Nestle (June 4, 2013 blog)
Groups challenge Nestle water takings during drought (June 3, 2013 blog)
Council and allies challenge Nestle water takings in Ontario (February 25, 2013 blog)