Nestlé Being Only Mildly Evil This Time, Compared To All The Other Times
As you may know, there has been an ongoing boycott against the Nestlé corporation since 1977. Why? Well, for a lot of reasons, namely that they are super evil. For one, they have this crazy habit of marketing baby formula to women in countries with water that could kill an infant. Which is actually a thing we would have to start worrying about ourselves if Donald Trump becomes president! For another, they get their cocoa from beans harvested by child slaves! For another, Nestlé CEO Peter Brabeck believes it is his absolute right to buy up all the water and sell it back to people in plastic bottles (like he has been doing in drought-stricken California, on a decades-expired permit) and that water itself is not a public right. He is a very gross and bad person!
In the spirit of that grossness, Nestlé decided it wanted an artesian spring water well in the small Canadian town of Centre Wellington, Ontario. The town was obviously upset by this -- noting that its population was growing, and that although only 30,000 people live there now, it expected to have 50,000 by 2041 based on current population growth. Also, it's their damned water and they would like to keep it.
If this were the flimsy plot of a 1990s movie, the town would have been able to band together (with the help of some whimsical drag queens who taught them all about being themselves and also gave everyone makeovers) and raise the money to outbid the Big Bad Water Bottling Company just in time, thereby preserving the water for the town for generations to come. Also at some point there would have been a talent contest, and a shy, floral-dress-wearing hairdresser finally finding love with the town's widowed sheriff at the inevitable town dance held at the end. Oh, also the assistant of the Nestlé executive in charge would realize the damage the company was doing and decide to move to the small town and reject his evil ways.
And they came real close to doing that, too! In fact, the town did raise up enough money to outbid Nestlé -- but as part of their agreement on their initial bid, Nestlé was hepped to the town's bid, and immediately used all their poisonous baby formula and child slave labor money to outbid them again. The town was not able to outbid them this time.
There is, however, still a chance that the town could keep its water -- Ontario’s ministry of the environment and climate change still has to approve their application to conduct a pump test, and local groups like Wellington Water Watchers are fighting to prevent them from doing so. Kathleen Wynne, Ontario's premier, says the laws regarding private companies buying up water were written at a time before bottled water plants were a thing, and that there will need to be a review of the practice.
All of this is to basically say that Nestlé is a super gross and evil company that poisons babies, uses child slaves and steals water from nice Canadian towns, and you should not buy its products.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse