OFL statement on protecting water in Six Nations territories | The Ontario Federation of Labour

OFL statement on protecting water in Six Nations territories

(ABERFOYLE, ON) – The Ontario Federation of Labour stands in support of Six Nations, their continuing legal struggle, and their current legal action against Nestlé’s continued pumping and bottling of waters in Six Nations territories.

Canada is home to 60 per cent of the world’s lakes and one-fifth of the world’s fresh water. The importance of protecting our waters cannot be overestimated. Bulk water export for commercial purposes infringes on the basic human right of access to clean water.

As the world’s biggest bottler of water, Nestlé’s has a devastating impact on Six Nations territory. The company extracts up to 3.6 million liters of water each day from Six Nations treaty land. In fact, on June 4, Nestlé pumped its 2 billionth liter of water in Aberfoyle despite the fact that its permit to take water is expired. It does this while paying only $503.71 for every million liters.

That Ontario has failed to stop this violation is nothing less than environmental racism.

It’s time for Nestlé to stop exploiting Ontario’s lax regulations, regulations that allow commercial bottlers to continue pumping out and bottling groundwater for not even a penny a liter, while First Nations communities go without access to clean drinking water. It is time for the Conservative government to take action to stop the draining of Ontario’s aquifers.

We call on the government of Ontario to deny the 10-year permit that Nestlé has applied for and protect the water rights of Six Nations and all Ontarians.

The labour movement supports the call for access to clean water for human needs, for the recognition of water as a public resource, not a commodity, and respect for water rights and entitlements for First Nations. The OFL also joins with the Canadian Labour Congress in pressing the Federal government to enact stronger laws to protect Canada’s waterways.

The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.


For more information, please contact:
Meagan Perry
Director of Communications
Ontario Federation of Labour
mperry@ofl-org.flywheelsites.com l 416-894-3456