Should B.C. copy Ontario’s plans to put a two year freeze on new permits for water bottling companies like Nestle?
Not yet, says Liz McDowell with “Sum-of-Us,” who led last year’s fight against the price B.C. commercial bottlers pay for water.
McDowell says the pressing issue out West is ensuring commercial users are paying their fair share and that there’s no room for new rules until we can ensure existing ones are enforced.
“All industrial users, which is particularly fracking operations for example, which take huge amounts of water, and also bottling companies are paying rates that are high enough so that we can actually implement the water sustainability act to good measure here in B.C.”
READ MORE: Premier says province to review water rates
McDowell says until that’s sorted, the province won’t be able to effectively regulate its water system, leaving it at risk.
“The Water Sustainability Act has a lot of good provisions that the rates we’re charging industrial users are so low that the government isn’t going to be able to fund the things they say they want to do in the act.”
Nearly one year ago, Premier Christy Clark announced a review of B.C.’s rates that would be concluded by mid-2016.
Prior to this announcement, “Sum-of-Us” raised over 230,000 signatures in support of revisiting water pricing, just shy of their 250,000 goal, and continue to advocate for raising rates.