Friday, November 7, 2008

Ontario plastic water bottle ban defeated

First, kudos to Liberal MPP Dr. Kuldip Kular (Bramalea-Gore-Malton) for his private members bill to ban small, plastic water bottles. Unfortunately, his proposal was shot down in the Legislature yesterday but it did, at least, get a discussion going.

Plastic bottle law defeated ... for now

"I wanted to create a dialogue and raise awareness of these issues," said Kular. "I hope in my next term I can bring it back."
According to the Toronto Star report, members from all parties opposed the bill.
One of the Liberals who stood up against the bill was Education Minister Kathleen Wynne. After the vote, Wynne said she did so because some schools in Ontario have lead pipes and rely on bottled water. The water also gives kids something to drink that fits with nutritional guidelines...

Environment Minister John Gerretsen told reporters earlier in the day he would like Ontario to become a "zero waste" society but he also doesn't want a one-off approach to something like this...
Wynne has a legitimate concern, given the pervasive problem of lead leaching from pipes into drinking water. However, why not give the bill a longer implementation period and provide schools with advanced filter systems (or replace the damn pipes already)? Gerretson seems to be waiting for the "perfect plan" before taking action. These are the same guys who supported a nuclear solution to Ontario's energy needs without a plan in place to encourage more alternative energy.
"This is the latest goofy initiative by the McGuinty Liberals," said MPP Tim Hudak (Niagara West-Glanbrook). "Instead of talking about Ontario having a have-not province ... these guys are talking about meddling with water bottles," Hudak said. "They are out of touch."
It is Hudak that is out of touch. He tries to change the topic by suggesting that there are bigger problems and therefore, this should not be considered. I heard the same line on talk radio last night - "people are being shot on the streets". As if the government can ony do one thing at a time? The NDP are not quoted in the Star article but I found this on the CITY-TV news website.
NDP Leader Howard Hampton had indicated his party would have likely supported the bill, saying that continuing to fill landfills with empty water bottles is irresponsible.

"We either have to return to returnable bottles, or we have to find another way to deal with this," Hampton said.
Right on Howard. Not sure how the vote went but that sounds positive. I wonder if the ONDP has moved to ban bottled water at its own offices and events?

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