Replacing bottled water with fountains on city property — or just adding fountains — won’t happen after a majority of council slammed the idea just as quickly as it was raised.
Councillor Stacey Tyers asked council May 28 to bring back the public water fountain, ban bottled water at city events and public facilities, and recognize access to free water as a human right.
Other councillors were quick to dismiss the idea, with the general consensus being that bottled water is essential for health and that it’s not the city’s job to control people’s choice to buy bottled water.
“We make water,” said Tyers, noting the city already pays to treat high quality water that could be offered free to its citizens by means of water fountains.
She added that fountains would reduce waste going to the local landfills, which would be a cost saving measure for the city.
Councillor Lynne Christiansen disagreed with removing bottled water as a choice in vending machines.
Councillor Marylin Davies said she remembers when the public didn’t like fountains for sanitary reasons.
Councillor James Cordeiro emphasized that it’s not the city’s job to control a consumer choice in the case of water, and others on council held the same opinion.
Tyers said that even just adding water fountains in certain places throughout Terrace would enable access to quality drinking water where bottled water might not be available, like in parks.
The water pitch was sparked by The Blue Communities Project, a movement initiated by the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Union of Public Employees that strives to make water a public resource.