Premier Ford: Protect water for people, not for Nestlé
TO: Ontario Premier Doug Ford
CC: Hon. Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
[Your Member of Provincial Parliament, based on your Postal Code]
[ Read background information ]
In 2016, multinational water-bottling giant Nestlé bought the Middlebrook Water Company’s well despite the township of Centre Wellington’s attempt to buy it to secure access to drinking water for its growing population.
When Nestlé bought the well – a well that the community needs to supplement its vulnerable drinking water supplies – our local chapter worked with other concerned groups and, along with Council of Canadians supporters across the country, helped draw national attention to Nestlé’s water grab by calling for a phase out of bottled water takings.
The Ontario government’s response to our demand for action was to enact a temporary moratorium on new or expanded bottled water permits.
But this moratorium expires in just a few short months. Before January 2019, the Ford government must make this moratorium permanent to protect limited groundwater for growing communities like Centre Wellington.
Nestlé is already allowed to pump up to 4.7 million litres of water every day from two other wells in southern Ontario despite the fact that its permits to do so have expired. The multinational water corporation has taken about 1.7 billion litres of water during this period, paying only $503.71 for every million litres it pumps. That’s less than 1/20th of a penny for a litre of water, which Nestlé then sells for as much as $2. The City of Guelph has expressed concern that Nestlé’s groundwater takings conflict with the city’s future water needs.
Six Nations of the Grand River is downstream from Nestlé’s operations. Under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, governments are required to obtain free, prior and informed consent from Indigenous peoples for water projects like this.
Nestlé said the Middlebrook well would back up its other Ontario-based water-bottling operations and also be used “for future business growth.”
Communities in Ontario should not have to wait in line behind megacorporations like Nestlé.
The Ontario government should also force Nestlé to sell the Middlebrook well to the Township of Centre Wellington so the growing community has enough drinking water to meet its future needs. Read more in this blog.
[ Send your letter now » Tell the Ontario government to phase out bottled water permits for good! ]