TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 18, 2017) - After months of working in a good faith consultation process with the Ontario government on its plans to introduce new regulations on water taking permits, today's proposed massive fee increase for water bottling companies that take groundwater runs counter to the collaborative approach needed to protect and conserve water for future generations, according to the Canadian Bottled Water Association.
"We believed we were involved in a good faith consultation process with the Ontario government," says Elizabeth Griswold, Executive Director of the Canadian Bottled Water Association. "We have endorsed all along taking a more thoughtful, considered, transparent approach to protecting this precious resource. Today we are told that this increased fee will pay for new conservation and management programs, but we don't know what those programs are or how much they will cost."
The new $500 fee represents a 1400 per cent increase from the existing fee which has been in place since 2009 and comes at a time when the Ontario government is searching for ways to make life more affordable for Ontarians, not more expensive. Over 70 per cent of Ontario households consume bottled water. And the Permit to Take Water Fee is only one of a number costs incurred by the industry.
"Bottled water companies acquire their land, explore, drill, build factories, spend millions of dollars on equipment, and payroll in this province" says Griswold. "As well, bottled water companies pay significant recycling charges and ever increasing hydro rates as a result of government decisions. Once again, bottled water companies, who produce the healthiest possible beverage for human consumption, are being singled out by the Ontario government. Companies that take enormous amounts of ground water to produce alcoholic beverages or use water to literally wash rocks, are exempt from the new charges."
To put that into perspective, the entire bottled water industry accounts for a mere 0.5% of all the permitted water taking in Ontario. In fact, Ontario's entire bottled water industry takes as much water from the ground every year as 10 golf courses (there are 825 golf courses in Ontario).
The Ontario bottled water industry directly employs 2,000 Ontarians, many in rural areas, and thousands more indirectly through suppliers.
The Canadian Bottled Water Association (CBWA) was founded in 1992 to represent the Canadian bottled water industry and to ensure a high standard of quality for bottled water. CBWA is the trade association for the bottled water industry in Canada. Our members produce and distribute about 85 per cent of the bottled water sold in Canada.