Kathleen Wynne agrees to public consultation on Ontario's water-taking permit review

Premier Kathleen Wynne said today there is "absolutely a place" for public consultation as her government plans to make changes to how water-taking permits are granted in Ontario.
Ontario's opposition parties have been calling on the government to include public input as it re-examines how it grants water-taking permits. On Monday, Premier Kathleen Wynne said there is "absolutely a place" for public consultation in that process. (Peter Power/The Canadian Press)

Premier Kathleen Wynne says she wants public consultation as the Liberal government overhauls the province's water-taking permit program.

Ontario's opposition parties have been calling on the government to include public input, and Wynne said today there is "absolutely a place" for that as part of the review. 

She says there are some "immediate issues" the government needs to deal with in the short-term as some permits have already been extended.

Guelph residents to comment on Nestle permit in November

Residents in Guelph are fighting an application by Nestle to renew its permit – that expired on July 31 – to take up to 3.6 million litres a day from its well in nearby Aberfoyle.

Council agreed on Sept. 26 to allow delegates to speak at the Nov. 7 committee meeting.

It came after Coun. James Gordon put forward a motion to have the city ask the province to stop Nestle from operating in Aberfoyle. His initial motion was amended to include the date, which was chosen because staff had indicated there may be a report ready at that time.

Wynne has said some of the conditions for water-taking permits, particularly for bottled water companies, are outdated.

Currently Ontario charges companies just $3.71 for every million litres of water after they pay a permit fee of $750 for low- or medium-risk water takings, or $3,000 for those considered a high risk to cause an adverse environmental impact.

With files from CBC KW


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