March 16, 2017
Thursday – Bottled Water Free Day
A powerful statement entitled Water: A Sacred Gift was released by regional faith leaders on March 16 to coincide with Bottled Water Free Day in Canada.
Bishop Michael Bird & Bishop Linda Nicholls, (Anglican Diocese); Bishop Douglas Crosby, (Catholic Diocese); Bishop Michael Pryse, (Evangelical Lutheran Church); President Gordon Dunbar, (Hamilton Conference United Church) joined together to declare that ““More and more the forces of our society seek to treat water as a commodity for profit rather than a sacred gift for life”.
The faith leaders express their shared concern that “Every bottle of water purchased sends a message that it is okay for multi-national corporations to commodify local water sources for material gain”.
Mike Nagy, chairperson of Wellington Water Watchers reacted with enthusiasm to the statement saying “This is an unprecedented statement of support for the idea that water is for life, not profit. When these faith leaders say, ‘Public ownership and control of the freshwater found within our communities is essential to safeguard so that all can benefit from its life-giving qualities’ they are expressing a belief held by a majority of people in our communities.”
Robert Case, another Wellington Water Watchers Board member says “I really appreciate how this statement connects the extraction of local water to the bigger picture when they say
‘In Wellington County the large water extractions happening in Aberfoyle and Hillsburgh, along with the looming potential for further extraction at the Middlebrook well in Elora, urge us to ensure that the sustainability of local ground water sources takes precedent over commercial endeavours. To this end, we support the call for a strategic and compassionate phase-out of the bottled water industry in Ontario over the next decade.”
Premier Kathleen Wynne was quoted in a year-end news interview asking the question “Why Ontarians are drinking bottled water at all?” Today’s joint statement from the faith leaders provides the answer to her question
“Aside from a sense of misplaced convenience, there is no persuasive need for most of us to consume bottled water”.
In addition they remind us “every plastic bottle continues to inflict unnecessary wounds upon the Earth long after it has been discarded”.
This statement, published March 16 in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record is the result of an ecumenical collaboration of the Christian leaders of the Anglican Dioceses of Niagara and Huron, the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton and the Hamilton Conference of the United Church of Canada.
For more information please contact:
Board Chair, Wellington Water Watchers
[email protected] 519-829-6249
Dr. Robert Case
Board Member, Wellington Water Watchers
[email protected] 519-760-2410