Ontario proposes new fee for water-bottling companies

Companies would be charged over 500-dollars per million litres taken from the ground

Ontario is proposing charging water-bottling companies a little over 500-dollars per million litres taken from the ground.

And, Environmental Defence calls the proposed fee good news, noting it would be the highest in Canada.

But it says Ontario still needs to better protect communities' access to clean drinking water and should give priority to "beneficial'' uses such as agriculture over water bottling.

Nestle Waters Canada says that it will accept the final price set by the government, though it suggests it takes issue with water bottlers facing a separate set of rules.

And the Canadian Beverage Association says bottled-water permits only account for one-one-thousandth per cent of the amounts allowed to be withdrawn under all water-taking permits in Ontario.

It also says it would like to see the rules more evenly applied.

The Council of Canadians suggests Ontario phase out current water-taking permits for water bottling entirely.

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