(Queen’s Park) – With Nestlé Waters evaluating the purchase of property in Centre Wellington with a plan to apply for a Permit to Take Water, Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott has asked the Minister of the Environment for assurances that the quality and quantity of groundwater in Centre Wellington will be protected.
Mr. Arnott raised the issue with Environment and Climate Change Minister Glen Murray in Question Period on October 7.
“Nestlé Waters, a water-bottling company, says it’s considering the purchase of a property in the Township of Centre Wellington, with a plan to draw large quantities of water as a backup to its existing wells near Aberfoyle and Hillsburgh,” Mr. Arnott told the Legislature. “The Township Council and local residents have expressed interest and concern, and Township representatives and I met with the Minister last week to discuss the relevant issues.”
“Will the Minister assure my constituents that any permit to take water applications by Nestlé Waters will be subject to a thorough scientific, hydrogeological review, with an open process for public comment by interested residents, taking into account the planned population growth in Centre Wellington because of the government’s Places to Grow policy, recognizing the water needs of agriculture, and guaranteeing the protection and preservation of the quality and quantity of groundwater in our communities for present and future generations?” he asked.
Since the issue has emerged, Mr. Arnott has worked closely with Township of Centre Wellington Council and staff to ensure that the concerns of local residents are heard and that proper safeguards are put in place should the purchase move forward.
“The Township is responding to this issue in the appropriate way. And, to the best of my knowledge, Nestlé Waters has been a good corporate citizen in our communities,” Mr. Arnott said afterwards. “But we all have an interest in our groundwater. Our groundwater belongs to everybody, and we have a responsibility to protect it for today and for future generations.”