January 24, 2011

Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Toronto are working to create "bottled water-free zones" within their schools.

The Water for All: Let Justice Flow movement is part of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace's yearlong campaign against the privatization of water.

"The idea is to create a culture where students don't bring bottled water or use bottled water even though they may have the right," said Luke Stocking, who works with Development and Peace in central Ontario.

Bottled water companies are buying more water sources and denying access to local communities in the Southern Hemisphere, said Stocking.

"Bottled water is the most visible symbol of turning this public good into a private good for private profit," he said.

At Toronto's Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, school officials plan to stop selling bottled water at the concession stand by the theatre, said chaplain Marilyn Grace.

She said campaigners hope to create a Cardinal Carter reusable water bottle that students could take to shows.

Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School has received a $500 grant from Learning for a Sustainable Future, a registered nonprofit charitable organization.

The money is being used to buy stainless steel water bottles.