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Province eyes extending water bottling moratorium

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TORONTO—Ontario is proposing to extend a moratorium on water bottling permits for nine months.

A spokesman for Environment Minister Jeff Yurek said this would give the government more time to review the science and consult with the public, stakeholders and Indigenous communities.

The ministry has finished its review of the science, policies and programs used to manage how water is extracted in Ontario, and now wants to have the data reviewed by a third party.

The moratorium on new and expanded permits to take water for bottling was put in place by the former Liberal government in 2017 after bottled water giant Nestle purchased a well near Guelph that the township of Centre Wellington wanted for its future drinking water supply.

The Progressive Conservative government extended it last year, and with the new expiry date of Jan. 1 looming, the Tories are looking to push that back to Oct. 1.

Water bottling companies have been allowed to take millions of litres per day.

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