The Power To Veto New Permits!
Guess Who Came to Town?
On Friday, October 9, Jeff Yurek (the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks) attended a (physically distanced) meeting in the CW Council chambers with Mayor Kelly Linton, CAO Andy Goldie, MPP Ted Arnott and his assistant, Judy Brownrigg, along with Jan Beveridge and Donna McCaw from Save Our Water.
The Minister reaffirmed the municipal veto for commercial water bottling permits to take water. This is very welcome news for our community given CW needs a number of new wells to support the potentially overwhelming population growth coming our way, and welcome news considering the best location for some of those new wells is west of Elora where Nestlé’s Middlebrook well would interfere with them.
SO, WHAT IS A MUNICIPAL VETO ANYWAY?
The new legislation says that a water bottler is required to have the support of the host municipality before they can submit an application to the Ministry for a new Permit to Take Water.
SO THAT’S GOOD NEWS RIGHT?
Yes. This is great news!!! This legislation means the issue is settled – forever – until such time as Council passes a resolution that it does not oppose a new Permit to Take Water for commercial water bottling purposes. This legislation means that all municipalities in Ontario have a say in water bottling activities. It means that the Province has identified that water taking for bottling is not like other uses; it is different, and so it needs different rules.
SO, THE VETO WILL PROTECT OUR WATER FOR THE FUTURE?
This veto is as good as the Council we have representing us.
Residents have to stay on their toes, to make sure that future candidates for municipal Council are asked the question of where they stand on the issue and how they intend to protect our water.
BUT THEY GOT ONE THING WRONG.
There is a threshold for the host community having a say.
Meaning, a water bottler doesn’t need support of the municipality if they want to apply to take less than 379,000 litres (100,000 gallons) per day. (This is higher than the 50,000 required for a Permit to Take Water, and it is is slightly over half of what one of our wells pumps in a day.)
This threshold is simply too high.
In fact, any amount of new water taking for water bottling is unacceptable let alone 379,000 litres every day.
SO, WHAT DO WE DO?
We can let the province know that municipalities should have veto power over all new permits – big or small – including those taking less than 379,000 litres per day for water bottling.
Please tell the Province that you agree with the municipal veto, but this 379,000-litre threshold is unacceptable.
We have a voice.
Our community can make decisions.
But we are not done yet.
STAND WITH US.