Water Act needs to be updated to reflect increasing use of municipal water by private corporations

Water Act needs to be updated to reflect increasing use of municipal water by private corporations

Treaties protect corporate rights

NANAIMO – That water that cost you more than a dollar a bottle cost the company that pumped it in B.C. nothing

To the Editor,

That water that cost you more than a dollar a bottle cost the company that pumped it in B.C. nothing.

Despite supposed  longstanding intentions, the B.C. Ministry of the Environment has failed to update the 1909 Water Act to provide controls and costs to companies such as Nestle, Whistler Water and Mountain Springs for the B.C. water they sell back to us for 100 per cent profit. Why would this situation continue? Why the reluctance to charge for a valuable resource? Does it have anything to do with trade treaties?

Currently Eli Lilly, the multinational drug company is suing Canada under NAFTA for $500 million for the profits it says it will lose because Canada refused to renew two drug patents for drugs Canada deemed ineffective. U.S.-based Lone Pine Resources is suing Quebec for $250 million under NAFTA  for “evocation of its right to mine for oil and gas” since Quebec imposed its moratorium on shale gas fracking in 2011 while it determined if there were dangers to the water supply.  Windstream Energy is suing the Ontario Government for $475 million for enacting a moratorium on offshore wind developments. Canada has already paid $15 million to a Brazilian quarry builder as compensation for withdrawing permission to build a quarry in rural Ontario.

If the B.C. government starts to charge for water will we have another lawsuit on our hands for lost profits and how much will it cost taxpayers this time? Even if we eventually win, the heavy cost of litigation borne by taxpayers has a chilling effect on legislation meant to protect the public interest. It’s time we stopped calling these “free trade treaties” when they are really treaties that protect corporate rights at the expense of tax payers.

The Harper government is currently negotiating even more restrictive treaties. Corporate interests have become too powerful. It’s time our politicians remembered that they represent all the public not just one powerful sector.

Liz Fox

Lantzville

Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

An event on the lawn of the B.C. legislature in Victoria on Tuesday to remember the 215 children whose remains were confirmed buried in unmarked graves outside a Kamloops residential school. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Canada’s racist systems cannot ever be forgiven

Teen letter writer from Nunavut calls for truth and reconciliation

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read