Monday, January 9, 2017


Centre Wellington Councillors all received an e-mail from Nestle on December 23/16 suggesting a face to face meeting regarding Nestle's offer to "partner" with Centre Wellington over the Middlebrook Well located outside of Elora. Two environmental groups namely Wellington Water Watchers and have expressed their concerns regarding any proposed closed door meetings between the township and Nestle as well as any attempt to circumvent the province's recent two year moratorium on new water-bottling operations.

Nestle of course are suggesting that their offer to meet with Council is simply an attempt to have open and transparent conversations with Centre Wellington regarding the Township's interest in the Middlebrook Well property.

Council as well as the two environmental groups are deeming the e-mail as inappropriate.

Somewhere in all this, albeit unstated publicly, is the Municipal Act which governs relations between sitting Councillors, the public and private companies. That said private companies routinely meet to discuss development proposals and essentially anything else they want with either individual councillors, Chief Administrative Officers or other so designated township Staff. A quorum of councillors raises issues however if the meeting is not a regular, public Council meeting.

While an attempt to bypass the province's two year moratorium is on the face of it highly controversial if not highly inappropriate, I'm not sure to date that that is what Nestle are suggesting. Also while I am highly skeptical of Nestle's intent in this matter that does not necessarily mean that under the rules transparent communications should not be pursued. Whether this is through senior Staff or otherwise I really can't see the harm in hearing exactly what Nestle are suggesting regarding their wish to "partner" with Centre Wellington.

The Waterloo Region Record article relating this story is titled "Email from Nestle called inappropriate by township councillor".

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