More statements by Bottled Water Industry that Ontario is ‘playing politics’ with water means our campaign is working.

Mike Nagy of Wellington Water Watchers and Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians co-authored this OP ED article published in the Waterloo Regional Record on May 11. Titled Time for Ontario to Protect Its Water Supplies, it points out that

“New Ontario guidelines regarding commercial water-bottling permits do not address the problems of protecting Ontario’s groundwater, reducing plastic waste and pollution and ensuring water is for life, not profit.”

Nagy and Barlow clearly describe three actions the Ontario government can take to phase out permits to bottle water in the next ten years.

“…. Now is the time for Wynne to announce a bold new policy to phase out, within 10 years, permits to take water for bottling in Ontario. The premier can begin by announcing that no permits to take water for this purpose will be issued for any new wells.”

“Second, approximately 17 permits to take water for bottling are up for renewal in 2017. Wynne should require these corporations to reduce their water taking by 20 per cent this year, and by 20 per cent each subsequent year. It is our understanding that an additional 15 permits will be up for renewal between 2021 and 2025. These permit holders should be advised that their permits will end within five years of renewal.”

“Third, the Ontario government must develop a just transition plan to protect workers in the water extraction industry.”

The OP ED concludes

“To protect our air and our health, a previous Liberal government had the courage to close Ontario’s coal-powered generating plants. The premier should take action to reduce the mountains of plastic bottles in landfills, and to protect Ontario’s precious drinking water supplies.”

The Canadian Beverage industry responded with a letter to the Waterloo Record. This was soon followed by an article in the National Post sympathetic to the bottled water industry. The primary message of these industry articles is to say that the Ontario government of ‘playing politics’ and that the bottled water industry feels ‘singled out’.

Here’s the good news – it is the goal of this campaign to make the protection of Ontario’s groundwater a ‘political’ issue – and continued accusations by the bottled water industry that the government is ‘playing politics’ is evidence of our success.

Here’s the challenge – the industry is only beginning to fight back.

The fight to end permits to bottle water is far from over – and in fact is entering a critical phase. The bottled water industry is going to fight this campaign to end permits to bottle water in Ontario right up until the next election – and maybe beyond.

Mike Nagy of Wellington Water Watchers and Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians are intelligent, passionate and committed leaders of campaigns to protect water in Ontario.

However, the power behind the movement they lead depends on the active support you provide.

Here is how in the next three weeks you can support the campaign to end permits to bottle water in Ontario

1. Plan to attend Waterstock on June 11 at the Erin Fairgrounds. This is a public demonstration of support for the campaign. Buy your $10 ticket here!

2. Promote Waterstock.

  • Make a sign with the words: Water for Life not Profit.
  • Take a photo of yourself with the sign.
  • Post the picture to social media, and tag as follows: #Waterforlifenotprofit #saynotonestle #waterstock
  • (See photo below of Mike Nagy with his sign)

3. Write a letter to the editor at the National Post and/or at the Waterloo Regional Record saying why you support the campaign to end permits to bottle water in Ontario.

4. Make a donation to the campaign to Say No To Nestlé.

The next campaign update will be Monday May 29.

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