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Beverage industry shoots back in water debate


October 29, 2008
By Rod Nickel The StarPhoenix

bottleh2oOctober 29, 2008 – Saskatoon – Saskatoon's debate over banning bottled water has caught the attention of the beverage industry.

Toronto-based Refreshments Canada sent its president, Justin
Sherwood, to City Hall Monday to counter a call by Oxfam Canada and
Polaris Institute for the city to ban bottled water from its own
meetings, concessions and vending machines.

"Government shouldn't
restrict access to what's a healthy choice," Sherwood told council. "It
distracts us from the big environmental issues we're facing."

A report shows city use of bottled water is limited to meetings held
at TCU Place if requested by patrons, for use by bus drivers,
firefighters and some employees who don't have access to a potable
water line and in concessions and vending machines.

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Oxfam
representative Sasha Hanson-Pastran told council selling bottled water
in its own facilities sends the wrong message about Saskatoon's water
supply.

Council accepted the city report and opted to make no
changes to its bottled-water policies, albeit with councillors Tiffany
Paulsen, Pat Lorje and Charlie Clark opposed to maintaining the status
quo. But city manager Phil Richards agreed to meet with Clark to
specifically discuss the sale of bottled water in civic facilities,
something Clark signaled he'd like to bring to a council vote.