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First nations oppose water extraction licences

Laura Walz, Powell River Peak, July 19, 2012

Proponents propose to extract water from 33 streams for bottling

Three first nations are raising concerns with the provincial government’s approval of applications to extract water from streams in their traditional territories.

No Development Plan for Large Scale Commercial Water Bottle Project within shíshálh, Homalco and Klahoose First Nation Territories

Media Statement, shíshálh (Sechelt), Homalco and Klahoose First Nations, July 11 2012

Sechelt, BC – The Clark Government recently approved sixteen licence applications to extract water from the shíshálh, Homalco and Klahoose First Nation Territories. The licences are held by a numbered company, believed to represent the Kwiakah First Nation, for the purpose of establishing a large scale commercial water bottle enterprise. The water bottling scheme involves applications to extract water from 34 streams located in the Jervis, Toba, Bute and Knight Inlets. Each licence has a term of 30 years and is paired with a land lease at the mouth of each stream.

Government issues water bottling licences; $#!+ hits the fan

Friends of Bute Inlet, July 12 2012

In early 2011, the Friends of Bute Inlet and other organizations became aware of more than 30 applications for water licences for bottling purposes on streams in Jervis, Toba, Bute and Knight inlets. We collectively asked the Minister of Environment to deem them a reviewable project under the Environmental Assessment Act and ensure that there was at least some opportunity for discussion and submissions on the applications by not just us, but by local governments and First Nations.

EAO to Minister Lake: Don't give bottling project an EA

In February, FOBI and other ENGOs asked the Minister of Energy to make the 34 water licence applications in four coastal inlets a reviewable project under the Environmental Assessment Act. Ignored by the Minister, the groups sought the assistance of MLA Claire Trevena, and in May, met with Minister Terry Lake to table their concerns.

A recommendation was made to the Minister at the end of June, and posted quietly to the EAO website in August (with a previously unknown project name - Mainland Coast Bottled Water Project). The public could not have known of this and in fact FOBI was only advised of it in October. The 34 water license applications would be treated as a coordinated project, but would not be reviewed by the Environmental Assessment Office.

Recommendation of the Executive Director of the EAO to Minister Lake, June 28, 2011

Mainland Coast Bottled Water Overview Environmental Screening and Preliminary Environmental Assessment, November 22, 2010

Mainland Coast Bottled Water EPIC webpage at the EAO.

Bottled water ban turns capital into 'blue community'

By Bill Cleverley, Times-Colonist, Postmedia News, June 18, 2011

Victoria is banning the sale of bottled water at its facilities.

Victoria councillors have backed a motion by Coun. Marianne Alto designating the city a "blue community" that supports publicly owned water supplies, bans bottled water at civic facilities and recognizes water as a basic human right.

Bottled water bans spread across Canada

by Julie Dupuis, Straight Goods News staff, Public Values, February 24, 2011

Heated community battles precede Bottled Water Free Day

Canadians object to buying negative product when clean, safe water is free.

Throughout Canada, citizens are asking for bans on bottled water, which is costly, environmentally damaging, and less regulated for safety and water quality than public water supplies.

Bottled water proposal raises both common sense and legal questions

Andrew Gage, West Coast Environmental Law, February 22, 2011

Well, we’ve waded into another controversy over water. You may have read me quoted in the Globe and Mail or the Times Colonist expressing concern about bottled water operations proposed for the Bute, Jervis and Toba Inlets on BC’s mid-Coast.

SCRD stands firm on bottled water project

Allie Nichol, Coast Reporter, Feb 18, 2011

After refusing to support a bottled water project proposal at the end of 2010, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) is standing firm with its decision — and going a step further.

At its Feb. 10 planning committee meeting, directors endorsed a new water bottling policy. The policy states, “The Sunshine Coast Regional District does not support the extraction of fresh water resources in gas, liquid or solid form from surface or groundwater for the purpose of bottled water sales.”

Battle of the Bottle

Sierra Club's Action Alert, February 17, 2011.

Click here to send a letter to Murray Coell, BC's Minister of Environment. Ask for a comprehensive environmental review of the entire project.


Weaning our politicians off the bottle

Randy Christensen, Ecojustice, Feb 14, 2011

Oh, the French. The country that gave the world Perrier and kick-started the bottled water craze is now building free public water fountains that dispense sparkling water. The move is being taken in an attempt to tamp down demand for bottled water.

ACTION ALERT: oppose applications to take water from 34 streams in 4 inlets for bottling

ACTION ALERT, Friends of Bute Inlet, February 10, 2011

At least 34 applications to extract water for bottling from streams in Knight, Bute, Toba and Jervis Inlet have been submitted to the provincial government. Each water application is paired with another for a land lease at the mouth of each stream. All of them are part of a water bottling scheme, details of which are sketchy and contradictory, and the one person common to them all has avoided reporters and any explanation about the real scheme.

Please help us oppose these applications for bottled water extraction. We are concerned about many environmental and economic issues with bottled water. We are suspicious about the real, undisclosed plans of the promoter.

In the absence of a credible and open review process for these applications, we are opposing all of them.

Environmentalists question First Nations’ water bottling proposal

By Paul Rudan - Campbell River Mirror
Published: February 10, 2011 3:00 PM

Conservation groups are calling for an environmental assessment to examine a water bottling business proposed by two small First Nation bands.

“I think we need to look at the big picture…water is the new gold,” said Lannie Keller of Read Island, a tourism operator who also speaks on behalf of the Friends of Bute Inlet.

Deluge of bottled-water licence applications rings alarm bells

By Larry Pynn and Judith Lavoie, Vancouver Sun, February 9, 2011

For years, bottled-water companies have been quietly obtaining Crown licences to exploit dozens of remote and little-known water sources all over B.C., with soothing names like Longcool Spring and Garden Spring.

Well, not any more.

B.C. tour operator fears water applications could lead to bulk exports

Matthew Burrows, Georgia Straight, February 8, 2011

A tour operator based in B.C.’s Discovery Islands is concerned that a recent rush on local streams for water-bottling operations is the beginning of a slide toward bulk water exports.

Environmentalists sound alarm over B.C. water-bottling plans

WENDY STUECK, Globe and Mail, Feb. 08, 2011

Plans to tap dozens of mountain streams on the B.C. coast and then bottle and sell the water have raised concern in environmental groups, which call the proposals “a new dimension in water exploitation” and have asked the province to conduct an assessment that would consider them as a whole.

Bottled water proposal doesn't need environmental assessment, First Nations behind scheme say

Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist, February 8, 20100

A proposal to pull water from remote streams along B.C. Central Coast inlets doesn't need a full environmental assessment because the project will use "the most environmentally conscious method ever used in B.C.," says a spokesmen for the two First Nations behind a recent string of water licence applications.

Environmental groups raise alarm over scheme to bottle water from more than 40 B.C. streams

Judith Lavoie, Times-Colonist, February 6, 2011

A deluge of connected applications to extract water for bottling — from more than 40 streams around four remote inlets on the B.C. Central Coast — has prompted a flurry of requests for a full provincial environmental assessment.

Water licence applications map

Dozens of New Water Bottling Operations Slated for B.C. Inlets

News Release, Friends of Bute Inlet et al, February 8, 2011

Five British Columbian groups call for formal environmental assessment


Campbell River – At least 40 streams in four adjoining B.C. inlets north of Vancouver have been targeted for new water bottling operations, five groups revealed today.

The bulk of the dozens of water bottling license applications--in Bute, Knight, Jervis and Toba Inlets--
were filed in 2010 and are now in the hands of the new B.C. Ministry of Resource Operations.

Please help us oppose applications for bottled water extraction at Bute Inlet!

ACTION ALERT, Friends of Bute Inlet, January 24, 2011

Please help us oppose applications for bottled water extraction at Bute Inlet! We are concerned and suspicious about motives and implications of a BC Numbered Company applying for many large-scale commercial water extractions in Bute and nearby coastal inlets. While we investigate, we are opposing the most-recent applications for Bute Inlet. The attached doc contains More Info.

Tapped Out

Todd Butler on Canada's water sellout. Click to play

We walked w. Alex!