A letter from Nestle’s President John Zupo to the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) board came off as “somewhat condescending and contradictory” for at least one of the regional directors.
At the August RDN board meeting in the RDN offices in Nanaimo, Regional Director Marc Lefebvre said the letter congratulating the board on not agreeing to ban the sale and distribution of bottled water in their facilities tells the board that they were “showing common sense to use tap water … at our civic meetings …”. But then, Lefebvre said, Zupo writes that he particularly appreciates “that you have chosen to put the health of your community ahead of all other considerations”. “So I guess we’re not being healthy in Mr. Zupo’s opinion by not using bottled water”, Lefebvre said.
Actually, Lefebvre said, his issues regarding bottled water were “about the commodification of water. I’d love to know where Mr. Zupo gets his water and … the volume of water they’re using for their bottled water company”.
As previously reported, in July the board considered a Council of Canadians and Canadian Union of Public Employees request that the board declare the regional district a “Blue Community”. Banning the sale of bottled water in their facilities was one of the requirements for the declaration.
However, staff recommended that instead the board support “the provision and promotion of public water at recreation facilities” without banning the sale of bottled water.
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