As I travel across this blessed province by tricycle....water is my biggest concern. People who walk or cycle for long distances need potable water just to survive...and can not always afford to pay for it.
No matter how poor a Canadian is.....where they live...... or how they choose to travel ..they should have a right to drinking water without charge. This should be enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms!.
I've had occasion to be out of water on a hot day in the middle of nowhere and pulled into a country covenience store where they lived on-site. I asked if I could fill my water bottles at their outside spigot and they told me the water was undrinkable but they could sell me bottled water. It was from another country and more expensive than soft drinks! I travel on a budget of $20 a day when I'm touring, and if I had to pay much more I wouldn't be able to travel around this beautiful provice. Maybe their water really was bad....but most wells need to be tested on a regular basis so I doubt it. By denying me free access to drinking water they were trying to make a sale.
I remember as a Boy Scout on a hike, our troup stopped at a farm and asked permission for us to fill our canteens from an outside well with a hand pump. We so appreciated the pleasure of that cool hand-drawn well water. As I cycle through rural Ontario, one of my many sensory pleasures is tasting the water from different areas. It's part of experiencing the land I travel through. Every water stop is a taste sensation. I love the chalkiness on the palate of water from the limstone country on the Rideau Waterway for instance.
I do drink municipal water too, and am thankful to be able to have it free when travelling, whether it be from a gas station washroom....a very rare public washroom or drinking fountain (there used to be more)..... or filling up at the ubiquitous doughnut shop. (Tip: most doughnut shops and restaurants need good water for good coffee and they quite often have a filter system! ;-))
If people begin to rely on bottled water, will they begin to neglect to test their wells? Will their be enthusiasm to maintain oversite over health standards and regulations for wells and municipal treatment plants so we don't ever have another incident like Walkerton? Will they care when our lakes and rivers are so totally polluted....they will not support wildlife?
By making water a commodity we deprive low income people a basic right of survival. By allowing commercial entities to take bulk water from our underground springs, we allow them to deplete the aquifer, robbing our rural neghbour's wells, so they need to buy water.
Potable water should be a basic human, and a basic Canadian right.