Province’s NDP Environment critic demands Ford government block the sale of Ontario’s water rights to American private equity investors
A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party
Posted March 22nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large
A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –
Nothing surprising here.
If anything is crystal clear about Ontario’s Ford government by now it is this. If there is a false choice Premier Doug Ford can manufacture between protecting our environment and shoveling more dollars into the pockets of his private-sector donor supporters and friends, he will pave over a wetland to please his private sector buddies every time.
And when I say no surprising here, this is one of the reasons why.
It must be remember that one of Ford’s friends and mentors – former Tory Premier Mike Harris, who is in line to be awarded an Order of Ontario of Ontario citizenship award for God knows what reasons – moved to sell off some of our water from the Great Lakes to private concerns more than two decades ago.
Many environmental groups protested at the time but Harris and company, including one of his Tory ministers, then Niagara MPP Tim Hudak, could care less, and they simply wrote people off who are about the environment as “special interests” and went ahead and did it anyway.
That worked out really well for the six people who died and thousands who got sick in Walkerton, Ontario in the year 2000 after Harris privatized water testing laboratories and gutted rules for protecting source water supplies, didn’t it?
One Conservative Party after another in Canada, in lockstep with so many of their Republican Party counterparts in the United States, continue to treat what our left of our precious natural heritage is something to exploit, and who cares if there is anything left for our children and grandchildren.
We’ve got provincial and federal elections coming up within the next year or so in this country. The health of this earth we live on can no longer afford this lack of respect for our life-giving resources. Remember it when you go to vote.
Now here is the news release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party –
HAMILTON, Ontario – NDP Environment critic Sandy Shaw is demanding the Ford government block Nestlé from handing Ontario’s water rights to an American private equity firm, One Rock Capital Partners, which is planning to buy Nestlé’s North American water-bottling operations.
The province’s moratorium on new or expanded permits for water taking for bottling is due to expire on April 1.
On Monday, United Nations World Water Day, Shaw sent a letter to Premier Doug Ford and Environment Minister Jeff Yurek, calling for the moratorium to be extended, and for the Ford government to stop permits being transferred to these private equity investors.
“For decades, Nestlé Waters has bought up access to public water across North America to turn our most precious public resource into a private commodity. This buys them the ability to deplete our water tables, harm our ecosystems, produce billions of single-use plastic bottles – all while pocketing piles of profits,” said Shaw.
“They do this without the consent – in fact, sometimes with vocal opposition – from the Indigenous communities on whose territory they operate. Now Nestlé is planning to sell its Nestlé Waters North America division, including the Aberfoyle complex in Wellington County.
“Ontario contains about one-fifth of the world’s fresh water. It is our responsibility to protect our water for future generations. Our groundwater supply is too precious to be left in the hands of American Wall Street speculators. Water is a human right, it should not be negotiated away behind closed doors or exploited by corporations for profit.”
March 22 is the United Nations World Water Day 2021 – Valuing Water which celebrates water and raises awareness of what water means to people, its true value, and how people and governments can better protect this vital resource.
Shaw was joined at a press conference Monday by Arlene Slocombe, executive director of the Wellington Water Watchers. Wellington County will be particularly hard-hit by this pending sale, as Nestlé currently owns three wells in the area that supply its Aberfoyle bottling plant. Slocombe is leading a campaign of local residents, Six Nations representatives, and environmental advocates, to stop this sell-off, and protect the water supply from being exploited by profiteering investors.
Letter from Sandy Shaw to Premier Ford and Minister. To read it, click on – Yurek<https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fontariondp.us4.list-manage.com%2Ftrack%2Fclick%3Fu%3D353019c4e982ae7eb8ea53150%26id%3Db347a2dc34%26e%3De2053df241&data=04%7C01%7Chainesm%40ndp.on.ca%7C08a2e86308b94b4c0dbf08d8ed3ab607%7C6b9fd2ec77a64ae0822a6bb9108fb274%7C0%7C1%7C637520183729052824%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=Kn0IZtWbC697F5XRBrWm0yC26Ve9FGAJGZGI%2F3LTJSg%3D&reserved=0>
“Water Watchers have been involved with challenging Nestle’s water taking in Wellington County since 2007. For 14 years the community here rallied to oppose renewal permits for this multi-national company who has been mining and exporting precious groundwater from this area for profit. Water is for life, not profit. It is deeply offensive to many here that water – the source of life – can be sold for profit in pieces of garbage that burden our earth for many generations to come.” –Arlene Slocombe, executive director of the Wellington Water Watchers
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