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City of Toronto Maintains Bottled Water Ban
In the face of intense lobbying from the bottled water industry, Toronto City Council voted down a motion on Wednesday night that would have overturned the city's 2008 bottled water ban. Wednesday's events show that Canadian municipalities are not giving in to industry pressure led by Nestlé to rescind good public policy. Toronto is the biggest city in the world to have banned bottled water and now joins the City of London (Ont) in rejecting industry pleas to reverse bottled water bans.
Bid to lift ban on bottled water goes down drain
Don Peat, Toronto Sun, April 13, 2011 - A bid to ban Toronto’s ban on bottled water was washed away Wednesday.
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti tried to get city council to agree to revoke the ban, put in place during former mayor David Miller’s reign, that will phase out the sale of bottled water on city property by the end of the year.
Mammoliti tried to get the ban dumped as council debated the criteria for a new vending contract for machines on parks and rec property.
The contract demands bidders provide 50% healthy choices in machines but due to the ban water can’t be one of those options in future years.
Mammoliti’s motion lost 18 to 24 after a heated late-night debate.
At one point, Mammoliti shouted across the chambers at Councillor Janet Davis — who wanted to keep the ban in place.
“I don’t need any communist to help me parent,” Mammoliti said.
Davis demanded an apology.
Mammoliti said he thought Davis belonged to the Communist Party and if she didn’t, he was sorry. Davis called it the lowest point she has seen in the council chamber since she was elected.
Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon called the bid to bring back bottled water a “complete and utter step backwards.”
The Beaches councillor said, “Toronto should be proud of its tapwater.”
Councillor Adam Vaughan showed a picture of a dead albatross with plastic in its stomach to hammer home his anti-plastic message.
Councillor Joe Mihevc argued mandating healthy options in vending machines isn’t the city acting like a “nanny state”.
A sarcastic Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker said the city might as well put adult novelty toys, a coupon to Centre Island after dark (if Mammoliti’s red-light district proposal ever became a reality), liquor and cigarettes in the vending machines.
“If you’re looking for money, nothing will make you more money than selling smokes at the community centre,” De Baeremaeker said.
“But I don’t think that’s what we want and what we want our kids to do when they go take our swimming lessons.”
That was Mammoliti’s turn to be offended.
He stood up to stress that at no point did he say cigarettes should be sold in vending machines.
“I would ask that you withdraw that because I am totally against that,” Mammoliti said.