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Entries in Calls to Action (2)


Inside the Say No to Nestlé  Campaign

I work as the Campaign Director for the Wellington Water Watchers. Paul Baines, (CSJ Blue Community Coordinator) invited me to write for this blog to update you on our campaign to Say No To Nestlé’.
The Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto recently made generous financial donations to WWW to support this campaign. WWW is launching the next phase of its campaign to Say No To Nestlé. I will write in this blog once a month to keep you up to date on and invite you to join with our campaign.

Say No To Nestlé is an ongoing campaign to stop Nestlé’s water taking in Wellington County. Nestlé currently has permits which allow it to extract up to 4.7 million litres of water per day in Aberfoyle (where it also operates a bottling plant) and in Hillsburgh. Guelph, which is located nearby, is the largest city in Canada that relies 100% on groundwater for its drinking water.

Nestlé is seeking permission for a third well – Middlebrook – in Elora.

View this 8 minute animation on Nestlé’s water taking in Wellington County and our campaign to Say No To Nestlé’.

Wellington Water Watchers is also campaigning for the Ontario government to end the practice of issuing permits to take water for bottling in communities across Ontario. Currently the Ontario government permits the extraction of more than 4.5 billion litres of water each year by commercial bottling by multiple corporations in Ontario.

WWW expects that any day Nestlé will submit an application to renew their permit for water taking in Aberfoyle and Hillsburgh.

In 2016 the Ontario government of Kathleen Wynne imposed a moratorium on permits to take water for bottling – in response to the campaigning of WWW and many others.

Doug Ford’s government lifted the moratorium on existing applications (although it maintained the moratorium on applications for new wells – like the proposed Middlebrook well in Elora).

When Nestlé submits its application there will be a 90-day consultation period – which is conducted completely online – through the Environmental Bill of Rights process. This online consultation excludes concerned people from direct contact with decision-makers. It is designed to separate politicians from people who are concerned about the environmental consequences, commodification of water, plastic waste, and disregard of Six Nations treaty rights of bottling Ontario’s water. In addition, the criteria set by the government for evaluating permits to take water does not assess the cumulative impact of water taking on underground aquifers.

For all of these reasons Wellington Water Watchers opposes Nestlé’s water taking for bottling.

WWW demands that Doug Ford’s government impose a full Environmental Assessment on the policy of issuing permits to take water so that there can be a full public discussion of water bottling by Nestlé and other commercial water bottling operations in Ontario.

You can tell Premier Doug Ford now you support a full Environmental Assessment by clicking here.


PS - If you would like to sign up for the newsletter of the Wellington Water Watchers you can do that here.


94 Concrete Steps Rooted in Prayer

Over the past several months, many of us have followed the proceedings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The work of the Commission focused on the impact of Residential Schools but the members of the Commission soon saw, in the stories they heard, the far reaching implications of the government mandated law that brought Residential Schools into being and the genocidal intent of such a decision. The Commission’s final report represented five years of work and resulted in 94 recommendations. 

The TRC report put forward specific recommendations to redress the legacy of Residential Schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation. The TRC report contains 94 calls to action. These are grouped under several key areas such as Child Welfare, Language and Culture, Education, Health and Justice. The final massive report is probably more than most of us will read. However, as Canadians we should become familiar with its recommendations.

As Sisters of St. Joseph, reconciliation is at the heart of all that we are and all that we do. Sister Joan Atkinson, csj stated,” I wanted to find a way for others to see the depth and breadth of the work of the Commissioner, Justice Sinclair and his many colleagues and for us to pray for the reconciliation needed for all of us in Canada to move forward and heal the wounded history between us and our Aboriginal brothers and sisters.” Sister Joan wove the recommendations that flow from the TRC report into specific prayers which reflect the individual calls to action.

We share her reflective work with you so that you may join us in taking the TRC final recommendations to heart and prayer. Our task as Canadians is to create the communal will to implement them. The Truth has been told; we now need to take the 94 concrete steps forward towards reconciliation.


Nancy Wales CSJ


Copyright 2013. Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.