Saint John to revisit bottled water ban

The Saint John Telegraph-Journal reports this morning that, “Mayor Ivan Court is hinting he may try to reopen the debate on banning the sale of bottled water in municipal buildings. Court presented a motion to common council last fall that called for a ban, which he said would promote the city's water supply, while encouraging consumers to spend less on plastic bottles that often end up in landfills. But several councillors argued consumers should have the right to choose between bottled and tap water and the mayor's motion was narrowly quashed. Court said Thursday he may ask naysayers to rethink their positions should a national lobby group (the Federation of Canadian Municipalities) call for a country-wide ban during a vote expected this weekend.”

The article continues, “Court is a member of the group's board and the president of the Cities of New Brunswick Association. He said he expects other proponents will circulate research that indicates municipal tap water is likely safer to drink than bottled water…Court said he plans to arm himself with this research within the next few months and try to ask council one more time to ban the sale of bottled water in municipal buildings.”

The report also notes, “Court's first motion last September was narrowly defeated, with five councillors voting in favour while five others voted against it. A majority of votes are required to pass any motion, which means the bid was scrapped. Councillor Bruce Court was in hospital and absent from the vote, but he said Thursday he would have cast the winning vote to pass his brother's motion…The mayor would face a difficult task should he try to present his motion for a second time. The city's procedural bylaw states that only members who voted on the winning side of a motion can introduce a new motion to rescind. The mayor would first have to convince Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase or councillors Donnie Snook, Peter McGuire, Chris Titus or Carl Killen to reintroduce the issue. This so-called rescinding motion requires a higher vote count to pass - eight or more of the 11 council members would have to vote in favour. Should the rescinding motion pass, the mayor would have to submit his motion once again and convince a majority of council to support him.”

The full article is at http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/city/article/594048

To read more about the Council of Canadians ‘Unbottle It!’ campaign, please go to http://www.canadians.org/water/issues/Unbottle_It/index.html