No more bottled water for you.

The city of Kitchener, Canada, is considering banning the sale of bottled water in city facilities:

Kitchener council will be presented with the opportunity on June 23 to approve the development of a strategy presented by Kitchener Utilities to eliminate the purchase and sale of bottled water in city facilities where practical, and to raise awareness that tap water is safe, economical and environmentally friendly. It will also consider a recommendation to no longer serve bottled water at council, committee or public meetings held at Kitchener city hall. In supporting such actions, Kitchener will join a growing list of progressive city councils across North America, Australia and the United Kingdom. All are leading by example in moving away from purchasing bottled water and turning back to tap water.

A strategy to eliminate bottled water, presented by Kitchener Utilities. And who are they?

The push for the ban comes from Kitchener Utilities, the city-owned enterprise that distributes water to households in the city. The utility takes in millions of dollars a year from the distribution of tap water to households.

The city’s Waterworks Enterprise, a branch of Kitchener Utilities, had a gross profit of $11.7 million in 2007.

But expenses — for water transmission and distribution, administration, and transfers to a capital fund — left the utility with a $19,000 deficit. The accumulated debt for Waterworks Enterprise is $1.1 million.

The city-owned public water utility wants the city to eliminate their main competitor. What a surprise!

But this is my favorite part:

In supporting such actions, Kitchener will join a growing list of progressive city councils across North America, Australia and the United Kingdom. All are leading by example in moving away from purchasing bottled water and turning back to tap water.

That must be the new definition of "progressive" – removing rights such as "freedom of choice" from their citizens. When I was a kid we only had tap water. Bottled water is fairly new. So wouldn’t removing the right to choose be more accurately defined as "regressive"?

Don’t get me wrong. I drink tapwater and I’m just fine with it. But I also buy bottled water for convenience when I’m in the car for example. And as long as it is legal I should have the choice to do just that.

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