To the Editor,
I read with interest the article, Regional district board balks on banning bottled water, July 31.
The Regional District of Nanaimo has rejected that aspect of the Council of Canadians/Canadian Union of Public Employees-sponsored Blue Communities Project template resolution that calls for a ban on the sale of bottled water in its facilities.
Unlike a majority of City of Nanaimo councillors, most RDN board members clearly recognized this resolution for what it is: a Trojan horse-like treatise developed solely to encourage Canadian municipalities to ban the sale of bottled water in their facilities under the guise of human rights and infrastructure management.
The Blue Communities Project is not an environmental initiative – it’s a political campaign being waged by CUPE against the Canadian beverage industry and its 13,000 employees across Canada.
CUPE national president Paul Moist acknowledged this in recent correspondence in the Owen Sound Sun Times, Toronto Sun and Waterloo Chronicle when he wrote, “Nestlé spokesperson John Challinor is partly right about CUPE’s joint work with the Council of Canadians on bottled water. The Blue Communities Project is absolutely a political campaign. What could be more appropriate than grassroots activism that invites our elected local representatives to have a democratic, public debate about how scarce municipal tax dollars should be spent”.
We agree with the Council of Canadians and CUPE that water is a human right. We also support continued investment in municipal systems.
Where we draw the line is their misguided and misleading attempts to ban the sale of bottled water in public facilities.
Bottled water does not compete with tap water. More than 70 per cent of Canadians drink both. They consume tap water at home and bottled water on-the-go for proper hydration, better health and simple convenience.
Contrary to what City of Nanaimo Coun. Bill Bestwick believes, tap water is not free. Every drop of municipally-produced water has a cost and is funded by local residential and commercial/industrial property taxpayers.
The Regional District of Nanaimo should be commended for putting the health of its residents ahead of all other considerations.
John B. Challinor II
Nestlé Waters Canada