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Federation of Canadian Municipalities Votes to Kick out Bottled Water

Resounding Victory for Public Water

Bottled water’s time is up and the tap is back!

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), representing more than 1700 municipal members from across the country, passed a resolution encouraging municipalities to phase out bottled water on municipal property.  Municipalities across the country are expected to shortly take action on bottled water.

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Press Releases:

Federation of Canadian Municipalities Votes to Kick out Bottled Water

OTTAWA – The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Board of Directors voted today to encourage their 1,775 members to “phase out the sale and purchase of bottled water.”

At the board meeting in Victoria, British Columbia the FCM passed a strongly worded resolution, put forward by the cities of Toronto and London, “urging” all Canadian municipalities to take action on bottled water.

“The FCM resolution is a resounding victory and the latest indication that bottled water’s 15 minutes are up and the tap is back,” says Joe Cressy, Campaigns Coordinator of the Polaris Institute and the www.insidethebottle.org campaign.  “In the same way that Coca-Cola doesn’t sell Pepsi in its buildings, we’re very pleased to see the FCM encouraging municipalities not to provide bottled water on city property.”

Across Canada municipalities and school boards, universities and colleges, faith-based organizations and restaurants are standing up for public water by taking out the bottle.

Canadian Statistics:

-28 Municipalities from 6 provinces have voted to restrict bottled water.

-The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) recently encouraged their 410 municipal members to take action on bottled water.

-21 Universities and Colleges have established bottled water free zones.

About the Polaris Institute:

The Polaris Institute is a Canadian public interest research and advocacy group, and the organizer of the www.insidethebottle.org campaign.


Resolution urging tap water over bottled water where appropriate
at municipal facilities passed at FCM’s national board meeting

VICTORIA, March 7, 2009 – Canada’s national municipal organization is encouraging local governments to reduce the use of bottled water in their own facilities where other options are available.

Meeting today in Victoria, B.C., the National Board of Directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) passed a resolution encouraging municipalities to “phase out the sale and purchase of bottled water at their own facilities where appropriate and where potable water is available.”

“Today’s action is another illustration of how municipalities are leading by example to encourage environmentally sustainable water choices,” said FCM president Jean Perrault, mayor of Sherbrooke, Que.

The resolution does not call for a ban on the sale of bottled water to consumers.  “Regulating bottled water for public consumption falls under provincial and federal jurisdiction,” said Perrault. “All orders of government must work together to reduce reliance on a product that produces more waste, costs more and uses more energy than simple, dependable municipal tap water.”

“This cooperation among governments must extend to investments in local water systems. The most economical and reliable source of drinking water is a first-rate municipal water system. Where these systems are lacking, all orders of government must help fund the necessary infrastructure.

FCM’s resolution also calls on municipalities to develop awareness campaigns about the positive benefits and quality of municipal water supplies. Municipalities will determine their local course of action.

The resolution was put forward by the cities of Toronto and London, Ont., over growing concerns for environmental impacts related to the production of bottled water, the energy requirements for the production and transport of bottled water, as well as the disposal and/or recycling of water bottles.

Bottled water containers may be recyclable but they still have to be manufactured and transported, which uses significant energy. Between 40 and 80 per cent end up in the local landfill. That is a burden on the environment and a cost for municipal taxpayers.

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