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Wynne wants public consultation in Ontario water-taking permit review

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks at a press conference at the Ontario Legislature on Sept. 7, 2016.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Premier Kathleen Wynne says she wants public consultation as the Liberal government overhauls the province's water-taking permit program.

Ontario's opposition parties have been calling on the government to include public input, and Wynne said today there is "absolutely a place" for that as part of the review.

She says there are some "immediate issues" the government needs to deal with in the short-term as some permits have already been extended.

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Residents in Guelph are fighting an application by Nestle to renew its permit – that expired on July 31 – to take up to 3.6 million litres a day from its well in nearby Aberfoyle.

Wynne has said some of the conditions for water-taking permits, particularly for bottled water companies, are outdated.

Currently Ontario charges companies just $3.71 for every million litres of water after they pay a permit fee of $750 for low– or medium-risk water takings, or $3,000 for those considered a high risk to cause an adverse environmental impact.

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