Nov 03, 2015

By Bob Komsic

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It’s time to end the virtual ”free ride” the province is giving companies that are granted large water-taking permits.
In her just released annual report, acting environmental commissioner Ellen Schwartzel warns industries are getting off too cheaply and should be charged more for the water they use.

TORONTO OUT Aerials of the Pickering Nuclear Plants. It will cost Ontarians $46 billion to whip the province's troubled electricity system into shape to keep lights, air conditioners and factories running for the next 20 years. The plan unveiled by Energy Minister Dwight Duncan today includes refurbishing existing nuclear plants, building new reactors on those sites and doubling the amount of renewable power. (DAVID COOPER / TORONTO STAR)dac

”Not only do most industries get a total free ride, but the few industries that do pay are charged only $3.71 for every million litres of water.”
Schwartzel adds that works out to less than $10 to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
She’s urging the environment ministry be more open and transparent when issuing water-taking permits.
She warns more public scrutiny’s needed because there are indications that increasing water demand from a growing population is reducing the baseline water flows from some streams and rivers.
Schwartzel, who’s filling in until a replacement for retired commissioner Gord Miller is found, adds ”We can no longer take our province’s water supplies for granted.”
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