Bottle ban?

The National Board of Directors of  the  Canadian Federation of Municipalities met [in camera we note] in Victoria, BC March 4-7th. Where? At the sumptuous  Fairmont Empress Hotel.
More than 100 municipal leaders and observers from across the country [met] to set FCM policies across a range of priorities important to Canadians.

We suppose Lloyd Hines was there as President of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. He is apparently vice Chair of the Standing Committee on Environmental Issues and Sustainable Development and perhaps Mayor Peter  Kelly was there as part of the Big City Mayors Caucus?

What resolution did the Federation come up with in this time of economic crisis? A resolution on bottled water.

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.

Of course this is in the municipal interest since they are themselves in the business of selling water. We thought at one time – silly us- that water was a municipal service paid for by our taxes, sort of non profit (although nothing is really ever non profit). No, not really. It is a business it seems, a government business; the town makes money off the sale of our water via our water rates; it actually costs us more to use less. Yes, if we use less water they raise the rates to keep the revenue “stream” flowing. The environmentalists should be screaming at this but for some reason this is under their radar.

The justification for this idiocy resolution (besides the promotion of funding for municipal water of course) is the environment,  which is the last refuge of any argument it seems.

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.” …

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.

This gathering in Victoria (where the cherry trees are probably already in bloom) was only the warm-up bout however for the Main Event – the FCM Conference – which is being held in June. Guess where?  In Whistler at the Telus Conference Centre. [Another inexpensive backwater. Why not hold it in another W town so loved by Peter Gzowski? huh, huh?]

We noticed this little gem on the Program flyer:

Carbon Offsets
FCM strongly encourages conference delegates to offset their travel to Whistler by purchasing carbon offsets during the online registration process. This is a voluntary contribution.

Of course, with our/taxpayers money, why not? Wonder what green company is going to benefit from our involuntary donation.


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