Nestlé Waters welcomes debate in Guelph over water taking

Nestlé Waters Canada says it will attend a Nov. 7 Guelph council committee meeting to discuss its water taking permit and residents’ concerns.

Company says it will ‘embrace the opportunity’ to address residents’ concerns

Nestlé Waters Canada says it will attend a Nov. 7 Guelph council committee meeting to discuss its water taking permit for Aberfoyle, and residents’ concerns. (Getty Images)

Nestlé Waters Canada says it welcomes a motion by Guelph city council to discuss the issue of how bottling water could affect the city's water supply.

In a statement Tuesday, Nestle said company officials are "keen to continue active listening and science-based conversations with all community stakeholders."

On Monday night, council approved an amended motion first proposed by Coun. James Gordon to have the city ask the province to stop Nestle from taking water from the company's Aberfoyle well.

Councillors agreed to address the issue at a committee meeting on Nov. 7.

Nestlé said it will also be in attendance at that meeting.

"Over the last 15 years at our Aberfoyle plant, we have always had an open dialogue with the City of Guelph and hope to continue good relations as a local employer of 308 people, economic contributor, and partner on water research and sustainability," the statement emailed to CBC News read.

"Nestlé Waters is proud to be a part of a community that cares so much about water and its sustainability. We embrace the opportunity to continue our dialogue on issues of importance to the City of Guelph and surrounding area neighbours such as Ontario's PTTW (permits to take water) system, water pricing, and water sustainability."

Troubled waters

Nestlé has come under fire in recent months. In the summer, the company applied to renew its permit to take water in Aberfoyle. That application has not yet been posted by the provincial government to the Environmental Registry website to solicit public comment.

Water advocates have called for the province to stop the company from taking water in Aberfoyle and cried foul when it was learned Nestlé purchased a well in Elora, Ont., after a second buyer - which turned out to be the Township of Centre Wellington - made an offer on the same property.

The Council of Canadians has called for a boycott of all Nestlé products.

The Ontario government has said it will review Nestlé's water taking permits, as well as regulations surrounding water bottling companies in the province.