Thursday, July 23, 2009


Though the planned commemorative battle of the "Plains of Abraham" was cancelled after Federal officials got cold-feet, a re-enactment of sorts will take place over the August civic holiday weekend.

American and Canadian re-enactors had originally signalled their intentions to engage in the historic battle of 1759 last spring, but Canada's Battlefields Commission scuttled the deal when hard-line separatists in Quebec threatened to disrupt the friendly encounter. Now, Quebec rock station CHOI-FM has several hundred takers for its invitation to fight one another with water pistols. The event is "on" for August 2nd.

A much better idea it seems, and perhaps a worthwhile alternative as well for the ill-advised campaign just launched by the Ottawa Riverkeepers against plans by west coast based Aquablue International to bottle water in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Essentially the Riverkeepers claim residents of eastern Ontario are being duped into exporting their tap-water for profit. What's wrong with that?

American based Hershey Chocolates hightailed out of Smiths Falls in the last year for cheaper production of its chocolate line in Mexico. In the process the eastern Ontario town lost its major industry and 500 jobs. Aquablue is taking over the Hershey factory with plans to employ about 200 in a water bottling facility similar to its Vancouver Island operation which exports "glacial water" down to the USA.

The contentious and eventually unsustainable argument is that Canada forbids massive exportation of fresh water outside our national borders. Since we share the Great Lakes and their basin, including the waters of eastern Ontario, with the Americans the issue is moot. Fact is the United States of America, particularly the southern states, are running dry. Canada, which claims as much as 20% of the entire planet's fresh water resources, will eventually have to come to terms with sharing this plentiful natural resource, as we do with our other bounties, lest the "thirsty" forcibly take it from us.

In Smiths Falls, as it does out west, Aquablue will take advantage of a loophole in Canadian law that allows water to be exported for profit as long as it is packaged in containers of 20 litres or less. Environmentalists it seems to me would be far better to be concerned with those damned plastic bottles which our "silly" law forces packagers such as Aquablue to use in order to be "legal". The Rideau River lakes system which borders Smiths Falls is where the company plans to take about 350-million litres a year in bottles for export primarily south of the border.

The Ottawa Riverkeeper is described as a citizens' group which protects the Ottawa River and its tributaries. It's most recent arguments are similar in nature to those of the Ottawa based "Council of Canadians" which first voiced concerns when rumours surfaced about plans for the abandoned Hershey plant. While there is nothing wrong with citizen advocacy, the "Bottle" in bottled water is what's nefarious to the ecological, social and economic condition the planet. I am hopeful that the Ottawa Riverkeeper's objection isn't somehow a misguided application of the advocacy for "water justice" advanced by the international Blue Planet Project co-founded by Maude Barlow.

Critics might very well be confused because Ms Barlow is also National Chair of the Council of Canadians and a senior advisor on water issues to the United-Nations. Ms. Barlow's book though: "Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis And The Coming Battle For The Right To Water" speaks volumes about the future looming just over the horizon if we don't share...including with the Americans.

Maybe it's time trade the rhetoric for water pistols.


  1. While I can respect where you are coming from and agree that eventually, Canada will have to reinvent laws against bulk water export, what you are forgetting is that water is not simply a resource for human consumption, but that it sustains life for thousands of species of aquatic flora and fauna. We seem to always think of water in terms of our use for it and the benefits it can provide to us without considering the adverse effects caused by our imposition on the aquatic ecosystem. Taking 350 million litres of water a year from the Rideau River, bottling it and exporting it is like bottling up the air we breathe and the ground we walk on and dumping it on another planet. And for what - job creation? Aquablue only intends on hiring 30 full-time employees when the plant opens, and then another 30 or so for "tourism purposes" later on. And what's more, they are proposing to install water dispensers in schools and businesses in the area - basically, they will be charging people to drink their own tap water. Considering also the fact that Aquablue will not only be taking water from the municipal supply in Smiths Falls, but that it also intends on drawing 10% of the water they will use from Hawkesbury - yes, Hawkesbury - one has to consider that perhaps this bottled water plant is not quite the answer to the problems facing Smiths Falls residents.

  2. Da Silva the CEO of Aquablue was involved in a pump and dump of his last company and tried to take Aquablue public once already (failed due to dishonesty as per the 8-K linked below) I doubt the SEC will approve the present try....... He was involved with a known member of organized crime for ~8 months with his last company and with the same person put out false and misleading press releases. Sleazy stuff, Is Aquablue just another attempt at a penny stock scam? LOL

  3. Tell me more about Aquablue and it's CEO please.