Nestlé in hot water with Puslinch council

PUSLINCH – Puslinch council expressed its displeasure at receiving a request for council’s consideration from Nestlé Waters Canada 15 minutes before its meeting began at 10am on March 24.

As such, the request was not included in the public agenda, but CAO Glenn Schwendinger said Nestlé has requested that the township ensure the site plan agreement the company currently has in place, dating back to 2008, can be transferred to the new owner.

Nestlé recently sold its North American water bottling business to One Rock Capital Partners and Metropoulos & Co – including its Pure Life brand, which is bottled in Aberfoyle.

Schwendinger said there is a “transferring obligation” in the existing agreement but the township solicitor sees “a few items outstanding.”

Schwendinger said Nestlé needs the document signed in two days.

“I struggle with the optics of this appearing on the agenda 15 minutes before the meeting,” said councillor Jessica Goyda.

“I don’t entirely understand the urgency…

“I would prefer to have the documents in hand before signing.”

“We have expressed our displeasure with them,” said Schwendinger.

“They are quite aware that the timing is not appropriate.”

Councillor Matthew Bulmer suggested staff take a look at all the agreements between the township and Nestlé, such as well protection and monitoring, before the change of ownership occurs.

Councillor John Sepulis proposed a special council meeting on the matter.

Council approved staff to sign the document pending review by the township solicitor.