As a resident of Centre Wellington I strongly object to Nestlé Waters endeavouring to portray itself as a good corporate neighbour, purporting that it is concerned about the wellbeing and health of the community.
Even though Centre Wellington has declared that it is an “unwilling host to large-scale water extraction for commercial water bottling” all indications are that Nestlé continues to pursue its goal of pumping water from its Middlebrook well, just west of Elora, and trucking it to its plant at Aberfoyle.
When, in times past, our government declared that water was free to all, it did not visualize the possibility of bottling water for sale in single use plastic and the advent of wealthy global commercial interests taking huge volumes of groundwater from communities that need it for their own survival.
The profit that companies like Nestlé make on this water is obscene given the fact that they pay only a provincial permitting fee of $503.71 per million litres. There is no actual charge on the water itself. They take this precious human right for next to nothing and millions of litres of water are removed from the watershed daily.
As it has in other parts of the world, Nestlé makes bold claims which are often questionable. It declares that it does not ship any water out of Canada. However, it does sell water to large-scale distributors who do ship this water to many parts of the globe. In the case of Wellington County, it has claimed that it is its largest employer; this is simply not true. The Corporation of the County of Wellington actually employs more people than Nestlé.
Nestle’s presence at Middlebrook will not contribute anything to Centre Wellington.
It will do nothing but put the township’s ability to provide clean water to its residents at risk.
If the township is to grow as mandated, there simply is no place for Nestlé.