Citizens rally to stop backroom deal between Nestlé and Township of Centre Wellington (TCW)
For Immediate Release
January 3, 2017
Elora, Township of Centre Wellington ON—SaveOurWater.CA and Wellington Water Watchers (WWW) are organizing an urgent public meeting to expose the scheme Nestlé Waters Canada is proposing to the Township of Centre Wellington (TCW). The meeting will take place Wednesday, January 11th 7pm at the Royal Canadian Legion, 110 Metcalfe Street, Elora (RSVP here). Speakers will update the audience on what they can do to stop Nestlé’s actions to bypass the moratorium and why it is vital to halt their scheme that will jeopardize the local water supply for their own profits.
Recent statements in the media and a delegation from Nestlé Waters Canada to the Township of Centre Wellington reveal Nestlé’s strategy to attempt a back door deal with TCW that would in effect privatize the community’s water supply.
“Water in Centre Wellington is at great risk because an arrangement with the Township and Nestlé about the Middlebrook Well could allow Nestlé to be exempt from the new regulations. This attempt to circumvent the moratorium disrespects the intent of the provincial government to revamp regulations for this industry. The Township of Centre Wellington needs time over the next two years to bring the Township’s Official Plan in line with new water realities like the Scoped Tier 3 Water Study, doubling of the local population and climate change,” states Libby Carlaw of SaveOurWater.CA.
Repeated vague responses by Mayor Linton to CW residents and a “no comment” response to CBC Radio, when asked directly if TCW was in talks with Nestlé, is raising serious concerns in the community about a possible backroom deal with Nestlé. Without a clear and straight forward answer to this urgent question, fear of a scheme by Nestlé to privatize water pumped from the Middlebrook Well will only escalate.
“If closed door talks between Nestlé and TCW are happening we demand that they be stopped immediately as we do not want any deal with Nestlé,” Mike Nagy of Wellington Water Watchers said. “Nestlé and TCW need to listen to the community which has already said ‘No’ to Nestlé and to respect and honour the moratorium. Even Premier Wynne questions this type of water extraction. This is a blatant attempt by Nestlé to get around the 2 year moratorium now in place on the Middlebrook Well, and the new stringent regulations that the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is developing to rein in the packaged water industry.”
An unprecedented 20,000 comments were submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change in support of the moratorium demonstrating overwhelming concern to protect water through public ownership.
Any deal with Nestlé that allows them to access Centre Wellington water directly undermines the provincial government’s intent and efforts to update and set new standards to protect public water in Ontario.
“It is vital for people to attend the January 11th meeting and say NO to any deal with Nestlé. Water is a public trust. Water is for life not for profit. We have seen what happens in other jurisdictions and we are saying No to Nestlé in Ontario,” stated Donna McCaw of SaveOurWater.CA
About SaveOurWater. Formed in April 2015, SaveOurWater is a growing movement of area residents committed to the protection and preservation of the Grand River watershed. They are working closely with Wellington Water Watchers to safeguard the groundwater that our communities, our wetlands, and our river ecosystems rely on.
About Wellington Water Watchers. Founded in 2007, Wellington Water Watchers (WWW) is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization based in Guelph, Ontario. Committed to the protection of water resources and public education, WWW works to affect local water policy and protect water sources. WWW also sponsors and supports guest speakers, debates, and are active at bottled-water free community events.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Media Contact, SaveOurWater.CA
Board Chair, Wellington Water Watchers