ETFO has a long history of promoting the care and protection of the environment. In 2004 a position statement on Environmental Responsibility (7.0) was adopted which states that ETFO should "...model, and encourage locals to adopt, environmentally-friendly practices at all ETFO-sponsored events." In 2007, the Executive Task Force on the Care and Protection of the Environment recommended that ETFO discontinue the use of bottled water at provincially-sponsored events. This was subsequently adopted as a policy. Since that time, bottled water has been banned at all provincial events such as Representative Council, Annual Meeting, Executive meetings and professional learning events. Finally, promoting the care and protection of the environment is included in ETFO's 2017-2018 list of priorities, and has been for a number of years.
At the February 2018 Representative Council a motion was passed recommending that ETFO support the Say No to Nestlé campaign by the Wellington Water Watchers.
Founded in 2007, the Wellington Water Watchers is a non-profit organization run by volunteer citizens from Guelph-Wellington who are committed to the protection of local water and to educating the public about threats to the watershed.
The Say No to Nestlé campaign aims to end the extraction of water for profit by Nestlé Waters Canada in Wellington County. For fifteen years Nestlé has taken millions of litres of groundwater from wells in Aberfoyle and Hillsburgh. Now this multinational corporation is vying for a third well near Elora, and is hoping to renew its 'Permit-To-Take-Water' in Aberfoyle for another decade.
The Wellington Water Watchers oppose this corporate profiteering from what should be a public resource—our precious, life-giving water. The organization identifies three main concerns with Nestlé's for-profit bottled water operations: reduced water levels in aquifers in Wellington County, a lack of consultation with Indigenous peoples impacted by these operations when seeking new or renewed permits, and the increasing commodification and privatization of a heretofore public resource.
ETFO Supports "Say No to Nestlé"
At its April 2018 meeting, the ETFO Provincial Executive passed motions supporting the Say No to Nestlé campaign. ETFO will provide a letter of endorsement to the Wellington Water Watchers; will make a $2,000 donation to the campaign; and will share information on the campaign with its members through its website, eNewsletter, and social media channels.
Members: Take Action!
With your help, the Wellington Water Watchers are looking to phase out the bottled water industry in Ontario. They are calling on the government to:
Say "No to Nestlé" in Wellington County.
Phase out the bottled water industry within ten years.
Respect the duty to consult Indigenous communities.