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WIN! Township of Centre Wellington passes resolution against Nestle water takings

The Centre Wellington chapter rallied outside Centre Wellington city hall on October 31 to help encourage the mayor and council to pass a resolution opposing Nestle water takings in their community.

The Council of Canadians Centre Wellington chapter has been supporting the SaveOurWater.ca call for the Township of Centre Wellington to pass a resolution expressing its opposition to Nestle’s application to take water from the Middlebrook Well near Elora, Ontario.

In her book Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow explains, “Nestle is currently seeking approval to take over another well at Middlebrook, near Elora, and extract 1.6 million litres of groundwater a day to be trucked to its plant [in Aberfoyle, near Guelph], a move fiercely opposed by local residents and a new group called Save Our Water that formed to fight the company.”

On October 31, the Township council voted to pass the resolution! The chapter has posted, “Resolution passed! Kudos to all the great work done by Save Our Water!”

The resolution states, “That the Council of the Township of Centre Wellington, with support from such community groups as Save Our Water and Wellington Water Watchers, send letters to Premier Wynne and Minister Glen Murray expressing our collective concern that the issuance of a permit to Nestle to take water from the Middlebrook Well Site is not in the best interest of the Township of Centre Wellington and the watershed by its surrounding municipalities.”

The provincial comment period on Nestle’s application to test water at Middlebrook ended on November 15, 2015 – months then passed without any indication if the permit would be accepted or rejected.

Then on September 22, 2016, the Canadian Press reported, “A small but fast growing Ontario community looking for a safe drinking water supply has been outbid in its attempt to buy a well by multinational giant Nestlé, which acquired the site to ensure ‘future business growth’.”

The public backlash against Nestle on this was huge.

Less than a month later, on October 17, CBC reported, “Ontario is proposing a two-year hold on the creation or expansion of bottled water plants… The province plans to impose stricter scientific requirements for water taking permits such as studies on the cumulative impact of the practice on local supplies, especially during droughts. …[The province] wants more public transparency, and will mandate that companies create websites listing information about their water taking permits and showing the actual amounts taken every week. …[And the] province wants to make it mandatory for bottled water companies to reduce water takings during droughts.”

The Township’s website notes, “[In a meeting with the Township, the provincial minister of the environment Glen] Murray reiterated the recent moratorium implemented by the Province and that no well pump test permit or permit to take water would be issued until after January 2019, at the earliest.”

The Ontario government has now opened a 45 day period for public comment which closes on December 1. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says the province’s review of bottled water takings will be completed this fall. For more information on that public consultation period, please click here.

To sign our pledge to Boycott Nestle – which has already been signed by 39,899 people – please click here.