Feb 172024

Scroll down to the list:    Selected postings, the Privatization of Water, Water for Profit




JUNE 2022 + February 2024
Sandra Finley


Mr. McKenzie
License him.
He will sell the water.


Who will buy the water?
One-half the Truth:   local people
The other half:  The water will be exported later, after Mr. McKenzie sells his property to global players like Nestlé, Whistler, Cloud.
For a lot of money.
It’s the Fanny Bay story.  Or the “willing to pay at least $20 million to buy wells in BC” story.


 Where is the water being shipped to ?

  • The U.S.
  • China
  • Maybe even Santiago, Chili? Situations keep changing.
  • If bad decisions prevail in Nanaimo area, Parksville, Coombs (for example) if we create further water shortages, tanker truckloads of water from Merville will be shipped here to fill reservoirs of some sort.


Bottom line:  the water will be shipped to people who can afford to pay for it.



How long will the water last ?


The markets will never have “enough” water.

Think of buffalo or Atlantic cod.  Both were renewable resources.  People just expect the money to continue to flow (meaning: the resource has to continue to flow.)


The Taking lasts until the Regional economy collapses.  (We should have a conversation about the exceptions.)


Corporations, investors, the Governments and their courtiers or minions do the Taking.


Don’t blame them if we’re stupid enough to let them do it.


We (and they) have limited imaginations.


On the Great Plains of North America in the 1700’s, with vast rivers of buffalo, it was beyond imagination that the markets in Europe for top hats was so large it could and would run the river dry.


The size of the export markets for rivers of BC water we cannot fathom.


There are solutions.  Just offhand – –  “The Biggest Little Farm” documentary covers 7 years in the life of https://www.apricotlanefarms.com/.  It is pretty amazing to watch the transformation that is possible.


Transformation is required in both

  • the lands of the importers, and in
  • the lands of the exporters.


But right now,  we need to pitch in on Merville, B.C..

If what Government officials in the Nanaimo office did in the Merville licensing is illegal, there needs to be investigation and consequences, conducted OUTSIDE Government.

Laws apply to everyone equally.  No one is above the law.  IF we really believe and will stand up for our beliefs.



Bruce describes what happened (Merville)


April 23, 2022    Bruce from Merville has been the carrier of the ball asserting the need for due process in the application for licensing of a water bottling and later, tankering,  plant in Merville.  He writes (2022-04-29)  https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=27152


I have always wondered why (The B.C. Govt Water Licensing body that used to be called FLNRORD) has worked SO hard, and has bent over backwards to accommodate this licensee. 


  • They ignored the objections of CVRD (the local Regional Govt) and K’omoks First Nation back in 2017. 
  • They convinced the licensee to reduce the volume of water he was requesting in order to get the application below the threshold for testing. 
  • They fought tooth and nail to have the Environmental Appeal Board rule that I had no standing to appeal.
  • They were hesitant/reticent/scared?? to cancel his license for 15 months after his deadline passed.
  • Now they are entertaining an application for amendment even though his conditional license expired 15 months ago 


I don’t know who or what he knows, but there is some reason this license has been handled with kid gloves from the get-go. 


= = = = = = =


(Sandra speaking):  It does not get any clearer than Bruce’s observations.


The Ministry is in the business of supporting Government agendas in Canada to commodify water so they (Government) and the Corporate Masters can make money.  They are NOT in the business of serving the public interest in, and the NEED for the protection of Water.   


I sent to an official:


What has been accomplished regionally and

through UBCM (Union of B.C. Municipalities) presenting Resolutions to the Provincial Government is significant.


BUT take off the rose-coloured glasses:  


global interests are determined to have water under their control.  There is big money to be made in “Resource development”. 


You write (April 29):   

The Resolutions that went to AVICC/UBCM a few years ago confirmed that local governments were firmly against the commercial exploitation of groundwater.  


Additionally, the applicant’s original proposal was to “bottle” the water and the zoning was denied by the Comox Valley Directors.


I would hope that changed)  would recognize that this is just more of the same.


Bruce spelt out what the Ministry IS DOING.  It does not get any clearer. 


Your hopes will fail the protection of water.


= = = = = = =


Bruce writes:

With regard to the  [“Merville” or “Strathcona – Comox Valley”]  application, it is the same license we thought we had dealt with several years ago on Sackville Road.  The province never did cancel his license, despite my regular follow-up prompting them to do so.  Then recently, I was advised that the licensee had applied for an amendment to his license to allow him to extract the water and sell it to bulk water tanker truck operators for supplying water to customers in the Comox Valley who need their wells or cisterns replenished. 


The Ministry decision team in Nanaimo has submitted the application for amendment to the CVRD (Comox Valley Regional District)  for their decision on whether the new proposed business plan conforms to the zoning of the licensee’s property.  While we are eagerly awaiting their decision, I am pursuing a legal avenue by working with West Coast Environmental Law.


We are attempting to stop the Ministry on the basis of their acceptance of an application to amend a license whose primary condition was not met (“the works must be built and beneficial use of the water must be made prior to Dec 31, 2020”) and whose deadline for meeting that condition passed 15 months ago being “legally unreasonable”.  I have legal advice to that effect, with an opinion that sufficient time has elapsed that it is “legally unreasonable” to amend that license and that the proposed new use of the water is sufficiently different that a completely new application should be required. 


At a higher level, I am trying to connect with Josie Osborne, in her new role as Minister of Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship.  I am encouraged by the fact that water is identified specifically in this new Ministry, and also by the word Stewardship in the new part of the Ministry.  I am also encouraged by the naming of Josie Osborne as Minister of this new portfolio.  Josie was very supportive of our campaign and of your groundwater resolution when she was Mayor of Tofino, so I am hoping she has retained that position and will take action to implement the UBCM resolution to protect our groundwater.


UPDATE, Sandra speaking:  I spoke with Josie’s Office.  They have nothing to do with the Taking of Water (licensing).




We have Water Protection.

Corporate and Big Government

Will not stand for that.

SO!  Move Water into Natural Resources

“Development” Ministries.

NEXT!  People go ballistic when they see the

Consequences, when they realize

What’s Goin’ On.



NOW!    There has to be a new story (propaganda).  There’s REALITY  and there’s MYTH.  The two have to be SPLIT:


MYTH – – for Public Consumption, hype a Born-Again Eunuch, “Water Stewardship”.


REALITY – – exploitation continues unabated and expanding.

…  You got it!   For Corporations, investors, the Governments and their courtiers or minions.  Privatization (people get “equity interests” in the resource which is actually part of The Commons.).  Investment, profit-taking, and corruption with compromised regulation.

We are intent on creating our own disasters, UNLESS EVERYONE

  • Starts conversations (that’s the best thing you can do – – TALK frankly. It’s fun! Beats whining.
  • Sends information to other people.
  • For now, focus on who you know in the area of Merville on Vancouver Island (Campbell River, Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland).
  • Do not let Merville happen.


= = = = = = = = = = = = =


UPDATE  – –   a lawyer was finally hired.  Even then,  the process was obstructionist.  One delay after another, and then this:

Sent: January 31, 2024
Subject: Court update  – Merville

AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!  OMG!! I just heard from our lawyer that the criminal case before us will take up the entire court session, so we have been rescheduled to THE WEEK OF JUNE 3rd!!!  Unbelievable.


Sorry for all the updates, but apparently that is how our ridiculous justice system works.  I am going to go quiet now for the next several months and try to forget about this case until June.  Fat chance, but I’ll try.


Thanks for your patience and ongoing support.





Selected postings, the Privatization of Water, Water for Profit  (Merville)

We people are accomplished at creating disasters for ourselves.

If you glimpse the lay of the land,  you will understand:

We have to stop the export of water from BC.   It can only end in disaster.

 A glimpse: 

  1.    2022-06-01 Canadian Water Summit June 1-3 . . .  (Chinese investors)  willing to spend “at least $20 million” to buy wells in BC     https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=27189 
  2.   2017-04-30    Agriculture Canada has been actively promoting water exports to China for years;https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=19010
  3. 3.     The majority of the water exported by Canada goes to the U.S.  2021-08-30   Forty Million People Rely on the Colorado River, But It’s Drying Up Fast.  What Happens Next?(https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=25606 )  
  4. 4New and instructive.  Suddenly one day, they are shocked and in deep crisis:   2022-06-01 ‘Consequences will be dire’: Chile’s water crisis is reaching breaking point(https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=27147)  
  5.  The Fanny Bay story.  California drought, 1991.   Instructive.    1991-03-22   Raining on Water Importer’s Parade: Drought: The latest series of storms may have doused chances that a Santa Barbara firm will get a large contract to import water from Fanny Bay, Vancouver Island, Canada.  L.A. Times.
  6.   Continuation of the Fanny Bay story:  1991 to 2019 “War” over Water export from B.C. to California, Court case;  (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23420 )   (lengthy text not included in packages.  Please go to the link)
  7.  Government re-structuring in the past 20 years has moved Water into business-oriented ministries.   Just one example.   2006-12-05  Water: now in the hands of Dept Industry and Resources.       (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23619)

Prior to the false idea of “public-private-partnerships” and their corrupting influence, Canada had reasonably good protection for water, and improving.   The International Joint Commission (IJC) with the U.S. looked after cross-border water (e.g. the Great Lakes).  The scientists, the policy work, and the cooperation fostered by the IJC was superb.   The protection of cross-provincial water in Canada built on the IJC strength.

  1. 2011-10-01 Cash Flow Buying and selling priceless water.  Comprehensive article by Lynn Martel. (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24014)


Water is the crucial stuff of life for every living organism. We’d better know exactly what we’re doing before we start trading it for something as ephemeral as cash.


  1.  ***   Remember this.   It’s the explanation behind the emptying of the Aral Sea, the Salton Sea (California), the Colorado River, among other examples:  2019-01-24   Export of Water, for profit. THE ECONOMICS. “You cannot give up something that gives you income”.  In a system that measures success by expansion – – every year “more”, always “growth” in sales (and in Government revenue).  When the product is water?  (Submission to Strathcona District Board);       (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23513)

Do people know when, or how, to stop an “economic” activity that is doing great harm?

  1. They thought they had stopped it.  It’s back.   2018-10-29 Water: pushing to block for-profit water extraction and bottling, right across Vancouver Island (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=22652)
  2. People fighting to protect water should understand that they are fighting the Federal Government working in support of the Corporate interest in controlling water.     2018-12-15 Submission, International Trade, re Export of Water.   Includes details of Agri-Food Canada’s financial support for businesses that expand export of water from Canada.    (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23292)
  3. 12.   2019-02-06 Taking of water for profit / export, Locations in Canada;   (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23744 )
  4.   Know that when the time comes for blame – – it is us “people”  who are to blame because we didn’t “conserve” enough water.  But NO:  it is always industrial use.    2022-05-25   Opportunity to make the point: citizens are BLAMED for water shortages.  Industrial use, by far the largest part of the problem, goes unmentioned.      (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=27125)
  5.  Initiatives in one province are frequently part of a national roll-out.  Maybe 15 years ago now, Saskatchewan was focused  on the “mapping” of underground water, and simultaneously on “equity interests in water“.   You know B.C. Groundwater is mapped – – there wouldn’t be data for research without it.   On the other hand, if the mapping is driven by the creation of “equity interests in water” (Merville) – which it is,  we are in very serious trouble.     2015-11-16 Most groundwater is effectively a non-renewable resource, study finds, CBC News      (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24848)
  6.   Simultaneously with #14,  dedication to the corporatization of water means there are initiatives that the power brokers DO NOT want to pursue.  Officials then spout rhetoric versus important realities that need to be known.   2019-02-01   “… with respect to the Water Sustainability Act it is unclear who establishes and monitors “Critical Environmental Flows” in BC waters. Can you clarify this for us? Can you also identify which streams and rivers have had critical environmental flows established?” (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23781)
  7.  Water is not a commodity but the journalist makes a point.    2018-05-15  Water is a precious commodity, but B.C. is just giving it away, Globe&Mail, Gary Mason;      (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24192)
  8. 2014-05-22 Island glaciers will disappear in 25 years, scientist says, Times Colonist(https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23277)
  9. Global, corporate appropriations of water.  We are not alone.  A win here in Merville is a win in support of other places.    2018-2019 STOP water bottlers from taking up to 9 million litres per year from aquifer. New Zealand. Chinese-owned Cloud Ocean Water;(https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23770)
  10. Understand how “first in time, first in rights”  affects your access to water.    2019-01-28 Taking of water for export. Director Brenda Leigh re “First in Time, First in Rights” policy;      (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23526)
  11. The Government will not do . . .      2019-03- Mount Polley mine disaster escapes BC law because of government policy on private prosecutions;     (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24171)
  12.  Corruption?   2019-03-13 Canada’s SNC-Lavalin Affair: The Site C Dam Project and Bulk Water Export, Global Research, Joyce Nelson;https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24206)
  13. 2019-03-14    B.C. Supreme Court Judge says: Water is a commercial commodity;   (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24177)      
  14.   2005-11-11    Americans will be AGGRESSIVELY after our Water,  Peter Lougheed, Former Premier of Alberta. In the Globe & Mail;   Peter Lougheed, Premier of Albterta from 1971 to 1985, was a statesman and a reformer.  He established the Heritage Fund for Albertans which later premiers squandered.
  15.    California never learns because influential people believe that the water will be imported from Canada.    2021-08-17   THE WELL FIXER’S WARNING   The lesson that California never learns; (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=25468)
  16.  This process was described by a significant Liberal in the effort to move water south from Canada, for corporate profit-taking as   “moving the economy into institutions”  (beyond reach of the public interest.  Beyond “freedom of information”  laws that apply to Governments and to public institutions).     2021-02-14 The New Canada Water Agency;     (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=25298)
  17.  It might be Liberals today;  it was Conservatives in the beginning.  The common factor: Quislings working with Business people.   2019-08 Water export, History: The determination to make water accessible for money-making goes back to the first trade deal with the U.S.;     (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24753)
  18. TimberWest was eventually sold to two funds . . .  2019-01-30  Applies also to Water. The Timber West trial,  Role of Pension funds in corruption. And of contributions to political parties. (The Tyee)      (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23719)
  19.   2021-12-22     130+ Groups to Wall Street:  Water Is Not a Commodity;       https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=26330
  20.   A striking description of “the takeover of Government, a coup d’etat”      2019-09-03   Swiss Development Aid, Nestlé and Water Privatization, with thanks to Defend Democracy   (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24806)
  21.   You had better be protecting your water;  others can’t do it for you.   2019-08-06 The Liberal Government Says It is Looking to Privatize Municipal Water Systems Across Canada        (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24770)
  22.    We tried to help the people in Canal Flats by contacting local organizations and sending information.  I don’t know the ending of  that story.    2019-08-22 Water bottling facility proposed in Canal Flats, BC. Columbia Valley       (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24738)
  23. 2006-04-27 Water. Wrap-up statement, Proposed Meridian Dam. Battle won. (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=15468)
  24.  The Rosenberg Institute is from the U.S.  They were hired to analyze and report.  Judging from today, I think we’ve regressed!   2007-03-14 Water: valuable & important document, Rosenberg Reporthttps://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23633

Excerpt:  might explain why today, Agri-Food Canada is still running a program to further expand the export of water (on-going, at the very least since 1995).

The National Water Supply Expansion Program – – sounds a trifle hubristic!   Like, we’re running out of water.  We’ll just expand the supply.  (And sell it in all those parts of the world where they’re running out!)

  1.   Under the category Peace or Violence, see Resource depletion in the U.S.

This Cowichan Valley report is much the same as stories there.  The Difference?  we are at a much earlier stage.  Can we not learn from the mistakes and stupidities of others?  Must we create our own disasters?  Please have conversations and share information!  – –    2022-06-06 Lack of reliable water sources stalling housing developments in Cowichan Valley, ChekNews.    (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=27205)    More, More, More of the same “development”  only takes us deeper into the quagmire.


  1.  2018-11-13 The growing pains of updating BC’s water law, Watershed Sentinel;   the new Water Sustainability Act (Feb 2016);       https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23445

Watershed Sentinel examines how well the new Water Sustainability Act (Feb 2016) is working in the context of a water bottling controversy in Merville

EXCERPT (full text not included in this package of Selected Postings.  Too long.  Please view on-line.):

. . .  Lui said it’s pretty simple why such a dated principle (first in time, first in right) made it into the new legislation. “I think the government was really not wanting to change the system in such a way that could threaten existing industries, like bottled water or fracking. But that’s really what needs to be done. We need to think about where water is being used and how that’s going to be impacting people and communities in the future.”


The U.S. has known for a long time: their water situation is one-way going down.

Canadians have to be able to see where the path we trod leads.   The only people who will stop the privatization and export of water is us.   Governments will not.

There is excellent local leadership and participation in Merville.  Please share their story widely (the link below).  Just do what you can.  Thank-you!

From the Introduction:

2022-04-29 “I have always wondered why (Govt officials) have worked SO hard, and have bent over backwards to accommodate this licensee. ”  Taking of Water Merville  (Campbell River – Strathcona – Comox Valley);     (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=27152)

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =  =  =

2022-06-01 Canadian Water Summit June 1-3 . . . Chinese clients “willing to spend “at least $20 million” to buy wells in British Columbia  




Water Canada is active on Twitter, and has been for a long time.

This article is front-paged on their website, with the Summit info, just below the top posting (2015).


An immigration consultant told Reuters last week that he has clients willing to spend “at least $20 million” to buy wells in British Columbia. The clients plan to set up bottling plants in the province to export spring water to China.  


“One of my clients is exporting—I cannot believe it—200 container loads of mineral water from British Columbia to China every single month,” the consultant, Alex Liao, told Reuters. “Lots of people, right now, are buying wells.”

In recent weeks, two Chinese businessmen have purchased two water sources in the province. Another Chinese man reportedly bought a water source in Chilliwack, B.C. for $17 million.

“Canada is famous for its rich and clean fresh water, which is very cheap and suitable to develop bottled water business,” said Yuan Zhanling, the former economic and commercial counselor of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Vancouver, to China Daily Canada.

“Canada often leaves Chinese consumers an impression as resourceful, natural, and clean, which is an advantage of bringing Canadian bottled water to the market with vast needs, especially the emerging high-end water market,” he added. “To invest in water sources, Chinese businessmen need to be familiar with the related laws of the Canadian government and pay attention to issues such as environment and the interests of the local people, especially the First Nations in Canada.”

Latest trends show that the bottled water market is growing quickly in China, with a 20 per cent annual increase on average. While Canadian bottled water brands have yet to appear in high-end supermarkets in Beijing, Chinese residents are keen to try what they imagine to be pristine, premium water.

“My impression of Canada is that of a country with many snow-capped mountains and clean air, so I think the water quality must be very good, especially compared to China,” said Daniel Cheng, a 33-year-old Beijinger, to China Daily Canada.

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