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Letter: Sale of Nestle Waters Canada to American interests should have us worried

'This power needs to be exercised responsibly to actually protect Ontario’s freshwater for Ontarians. Water is a human right and part of the public trust'
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Clarification: The letter writer provided the following clarification.

Water taking without a permit still has a 50,000 litres per day threshold. Anything above follows the usual process and goes onto the ERO for public comment, etc.

But if you are a water bottler, and if you want to apply for a new permit, or an increased amount on an existing permit, and if you want to take water above 379,000 litres per day, it is a requirement that you have support of the host municipality.

If you are a water bottler and you want to apply for a permit for taking between 50,000 and 379,000 litres per day, or if you want to renew a permit, you do not need municipal support.

These applications will, however, go onto the ERO as per the usual process.

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GuelphToday received the following letter from Karen Rathwell regarding the sale of Nestle Waters Canada to U.S. equity firms.

Issues of water security continue to haunt us here in Guelph/Wellington County. I’m sure I’m not the only one mourning the sale of Nestle Waters Canada to One Rock Capital and Metropoulos and Company – American Private Equity Firms.  It seems our precious groundwater will continue to be prostituted and now plays an even bigger role in the global water grab.  

After reading the recent Reuters quote by Kimberley Reed, a One Rock partner, my belief is confirmed, our water is just part of a giant game of “Monopoly” played by multinational corporations as our own governments stand by with mouths gaping. This is our community water she is talking about!

“As a private company, the business is expected to have greater resources and flexibility to drive continued growth, strengthen its existing operations,” One Rock partner Kimberly Reed said.”

We have some very thirsty neighbours to the south and losing control of our community water resources is fast becoming an even bigger problem than we could have ever imagined. Members of Doug Ford’s government need to rub the sleep from their eyes to clear the fog and get to work putting legislation into place to actually protect Ontario’s groundwater.

So many “straws” taking water from our aquifer and with the most recent changes to Ontario’s Water Quantity Management Framework, we have become even more vulnerable as now the maximum allowable daily pumping without a permit has increased from 50,000 l/day to 379,000 l/day. No one really knows how much water there is, and the Conservatives are allowing an over 700% increase to who knows how many “straws”! Consider the climate change wildcard and the many watering restrictions we have had in recent summers and the picture becomes clearer. 

The Ontario Government holds the power by administering the Permits to Take Water.  This power needs to be exercised responsibly to actually protect Ontario’s freshwater for Ontarians. Water is a human right and part of the public trust.

Water for Life, Not Profit!

Karen Rathwell


Guelph, Ontario
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