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Rural residents vent frustrations

over water rules

Doug Fischer
The Ottawa Citizen
Friday, April 30, 2004

   KILLALOE - Rural frustration about new drinking water regulations boiled over into anger against governments last night at a raucous public meeting with provincial environment officials.
   Owners of campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, restaurants and other small businesses expressed concern about the new regulations, saying they threatened rural life.
   Many were upset by the complexities of the water regulations, which require engineering inspections and frequent testing that they say will be far too expensive and drive them out of business.
   "We won't let city people who don't understand our way of life take our lives away," said one campground owner.
   The meeting, that drew about 500 people packed into the local public school gym, is the latest in a series across Renfrew and Lanark Counties, staged to allow residents to vent anger at what they say is increasing government interference in their way of life.
   Residents are frustrated at high taxes and new health and environmental regulations that they say are being forced down their

  throats by urban politicians who don't care about their needs.
   Politicians got in the act: Conservative MPP John Yakabuski won applause when he described the Liberal government as,
"a two-headed monster with one hand on our throats and another in our pockets."
   But Sue McSheffrey, who will run for the NDP in the next federal election, was one of several people who reminded the audience that it was the Conservatives under Ernie Eves who brought in the new water regulations in the wake of the Walkerton tragedy.
   Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MP Cheryl Gallant won the night's loudest applause when she said governments,
"are trying to drive us off our land, into urban communities so they can better control us."
   Ministry of the Environment official James Mahoney repeatedly defended the need for improvements to rural water systems, saying existing regulations still turn up thousands of water samples contaminated with E. coli and other bacteria every year.
   However, he promised to take rural concerns to Environment Minister Leona Dombrosky.

 The Ottawa Citizen 2004


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Meeting held by WCRA, on negative impacts of new water regulations (#170/03) June 25

Wellsafe.net - is dedicated to co-ordinating the efforts of communities throughout Ontario who are opposed to Drinking Water Systems Regulation 170/03.

Letter to Env. Minister argues that Regs: 170/03 would hurt the environment

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