The Liberals have banned single-use plastic by 2021 and have signed onto an international plastics treaty, but are they living how they preach? An order paper response to a question asked by Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner shows one government ministry spent nearly a million dollars on single use plastic water bottles since 2017.
In 2018, the Liberals signed onto the G7 Oceans Plastic Charter to “commit to a more resource-efficient and lifecycle approach to plastics stewardship on land and at sea”. The following year, Trudeau announced that he would ban single use plastics and introduced us to his “paper juice box water bottle sort of thing” which is whatever he drinks instead of bottled water. Trudeau even co-authored an op-ed called The Case Against Bottled Water in the Toronto Star in 2008.
The Liberals have a war on plastic water bottles, or so they want us to believe. But the truth is there is no war on plastic. The Liberals have the same love affair with plastic I do!
Rempel Garner’s order paper question demanded answers from the government on the amounts of money spent on single use water bottles across all ministries and agencies, broken down fiscal year since 2017.
The response back from the government is enormous — 452 pages long. It’s one of the longest order paper responses I have ever read. However, even though the order paper response is 452 pages long — most departments say they can't answer, don't know, or don't even bother to track bottled water expenses.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans spent $73,081.99 in two years on bottled water.
Global Affairs has spent almost $1 million on bottled water since 2017 but it could be more, because the ministry admits it doesn’t track bottled water that is part of a meal expense.
The expenses were enormous:
- $380,000 in 2017
- $385,000 in 2018
- $222,000 in 2019
The Privy Council Office (so Trudeau's office) also refused to answer, saying they don't track the information. In 2017 Rebel News examined Trudeau's home grocery bills and discovered that he spends upwards of $300 per month of taxpayer money on bottled water for his primary residence.
The key ministry pushing both the plastics ban and the plastics charter, Environment and Climate Change Canada, was among those ministries that won't, or can’t answer how much bottled water they use.
Instead, Catherine McKenna's former ministry gave some rhetoric about how they're banning plastic and trying to reduce waste by wasting 2 pages of paper with their meaningless response. Just like the Privy Council Office, ECCC doesn’t seem to care enough about plastic garbage to track their own.