News Flash: Gulliver's Cove Bottled Water Project Mothballed
As reported by a local radio station in Nova Scotia, the bottled water project proposed by New Hampshire businessman John Hyatt for Gulliver's Cove on Digby Neck, Nova Scotia, appears to have been indefinitely postponed. Janet Eaton, Canadian liaison to Sierra Club's WPTF, working with a small committed group of local citizens, played a key role in bringing attention to the proposed project throughout Canada and emphasized that such a project is not in keeping with the local sustainable economic development on Digby Neck which serves as a model for the future.
According to the news release, Hyatt let an October deadline pass for filing additional information required by the Nova Scotia Environment Department and the appeal period has now expired. The station reported that "A Nova Scotia spokesperson for Hyatt, Peter Oram, says Hyatt is considering his options, but has no plans for the area right now."
Earlier Hyatt had told the community he would abide by their wishes. At the request of the local community, Eaton provided advice on the best way to run a secret ballot vote on whether or not the community wanted the water bottling plant. When the secret ballot results showed people strongly opposed to the proposed project, Hyatt changed his tune and continued to advocate for the plant in news releases and to proceed with his application.
Hyatt's change of mind came soon after Eaton spoke about the democratic deficit in the Gulliver's Cove proposal at a press conference to announce the launch of an interfaith campaign Water: Life Before Profit sponsored by Kairos.
In the summer, Eaton delivered a power point presentation to the combined Boards of Directors of Sierra Club Canada and Sierra Club US on the threats to local and global sustainable development posed by a proposed mega-quarry and the bottled water project. She also presented a resolution on behalf of the Sierra Club's Corporate Accountability Committee that called for both Boards to oppose these projects and instead support a small scale, non-industrial ecologically sustainable economy for Digby Neck which the Boards passed.
To keep the spotlight on the threat, Eaton alerted the newly formed Water Commons Network in Canada and enlisted their support and also made formal power point presentations in Halifax and at an Acadia University Rural Development and Education Conference.
The Sierra Club believes that water resources are a commons not a commodity and has been campaigning against unnecessary use of bottled water that treats water as a commodity. Furthermore, the Sierra Club's WPTF believes that local communities should have the right to vote to protect these resources.