Op Ed: Water is a Necessary Election Issue

Each morning we start off our day with water: splashing it on our faces, washing our hands, or drinking a hot cup of coffee. Water is vital – it sustains our lives and allows us to grow food to feed our families and yours.

At a recent all candidates meeting in Wellington County, candidates were asked, if elected, would they be willing to phase out all permits related to taking water for the purpose of bottling due to communities’, citizen’s, and farmers’ concerns with the large amounts of water extracted from our aquifers for the purpose of bottling. The candidates’ answers ranged from “sell the water off” to “more scientific studies should be completed” to “water is a public trust and should not be sold for bottling purposes.” Nestle was also present at this meeting listening to candidates’ answers as they have a financial stake in the decisions politicians make.

As we come to the June 7th election deadline, I have reflected on the effort to vote made by the older generation. Perhaps they are thinking of their grandchildren who cannot vote yet. Perhaps we all need to think of the next generation and what resources will be available to them. This coming June 7th – young or old, get out and make your vote matter. Vote for the candidate who will speak for your interests and who will speak for water – for this generation and the next, for farmers, for citizens, for you and me.

Pat Brown is a beef farmer in Kenilworth and the President of NFU-O Local 340 Waterloo-Wellington.