On Wednesday, July 1st, Friends of Elora and Wellington Water Watchers participated in the Elora Canada Day Parade with a “Water Walk” to celebrate Elora’s water which is currently under threat by Nestle’s proposal to purchase the Middlebrook well.
The Wellington Advertiser published an editorial about the Water Walk in the parade: “Not the time or place“ as well as an editorial cartoon.
Karen Rathwell, board member of the Wellington Water Watchers, submitted a letter to the editor, but we also wanted to share her response below.
I read with great disappointment and discouragement Chris Daponte’s opinion piece regarding the Dominion Day Parade in Elora. The community in Elora came together to celebrate and protect our precious groundwater and also to raise awareness regarding the threat of privatization of this life sustaining substance.
It was stated in Mr. Daponte’s opinion column that the parade was “marred” by the display. Marred in which manner? Marred because Canadians felt so passionate about the future of their nation? The accompanying amateur editorial cartoon clearly illustrates The Wellington Advertiser’s lack of understanding and uninformed position on this manner. The two opinion pieces give the impression that the Wellington Advertiser views itself as the moral authority about what should or should not be included in a citizens’ parade designed to celebrate this nation’s birthday. What better thing to celebrate than one of the very natural features that have helped define and form this country, and that is water. Is it only appropriate in the WA’s view that Dominion Day celebrates only the past but one not dare show concern for our country and the threat humans face due to the plundering of our natural ecosystems. Should parades such as this be for 7 generations forward not just 7 generations past?
The fact that now over 400 people (and growing) have signed a letter stating that residents of Elora are greatly concerned around the potential purchasing of the Middlebrook well (1445036 Ontario Inc.) by Nestle, is a testament to the importance of this issue that was demonstrated at the Dominion Day Parade and proves that lots of attendees appreciated and supported the creative efforts of Friends of Elora Water.
Elora is not a water-rich area. A request is stated in the letter that Centre Wellington Township voice its disapproval of these types of water-taking permits to Glen Murray and the Premier and invite Minister Murray to a Town Hall meeting. Also, the Township is encouraged to continue requesting detailed studies to better understand connectivity and other features of this well.
I appreciate that controversy “sells” papers to a targeted demographic within the WA’s capture area. However, I would suggest doing a little homework before your next article. You will likely learn that the Middlebrook property, if purchased by Nestle will be their tertiary pump in Wellington County, and Nestle will be permitted to completely remove from the watershed 100% of the water they draw, every hour of every day.
British Columbia is experiencing drought never seen before and the country from Saskatchewan west is engulfed in massive wildfires. While all residents of BC and California are being asked to reduce water usage, Nestle, at their Sacramento water bottling plant and one well in Hope, BC, publicly refuses to reduce their pumping. Can this also happen here in Wellington County?! To a large extent it already has.
But thanks to the watchful eye of Wellington Water Watchers, Council of Canadians and Eco Justice, Nestle backed down from their appeal challenging a condition in their permit that ordered mandatory cutbacks of their pumping in periods of level 1 and 2 drought in this County.
Please take some time to learn more about CETA, NAFTA and the especially unpopular Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with China, ratified in September 2014. All three of these agreements give more power to foreign corporations over Canadian resources than Canadians have, and make it next to impossible for future governments to reverse.
It is highly unfortunate and very poor journalistic standard that the Wellington Advertiser portrayed such a wonderful expression of love for this country’s water as a negative thing.
In conclusion, I can’t speak for all, but I would suggest that staff at the Wellington Advertiser stick to advertising.
Wellington Water Watchers