Richard Belanger and Sara Ward presented their plans for a new water bottling facility to Canal Flats residents on Thursday August 15th. Photo by Lizzie Midyette

Water bottling facility proposed in Canal Flats

Source of the Columbia Beverages Inc. promises jobs and financial investment into community

By Dean Midyette

Special to the Pioneer

At an open house held on Thursday August 15th, it was clear that the proponents of the new water bottling plant in Canal Flats are focused on realizing an aggressive timeline and are driven to success. CEO Richard Belanger and Director of Sales and Marketing Sara Ward met with residents, presented their plans to the community and answered questions about their new business venture.

The Source of The Columbia Beverages Inc. plans to construct a 7,000 square foot, $3 million water bottling facility that will be situated on the south side of Highway 95 in the northwest corner of The Flats RV Campground and will have the capacity to fill 6,000 500 ml bottles per hour*.

Mr. Belanger is a professional engineer whose resume includes international work with Bombardier and General Electric while Ms. Ward comes from a real estate background as well as having owned and operated an 18 hole executive golf course outside of Edmonton. The bottling plant will create 14 full time jobs initially, increasing to 22 full time positions when the facility reaches full capacity. New wells will be drilled near the facility to supply the plant and the village’s existing water supply will not be accessed.

Production is scheduled to begin in January 2020 and securing a water license is the primary focus for the project.

During the presentation, Mr. Belanger and Ms. Ward were very clear that they were committed to developing a business that is respectful to their employees, promising well paying full time employment, respect for environmental considerations and committing to supporting the community through infrastructure investments and programs like the food bank.

Mayor Karl Sterzer commented, “We were pleased to hear of the proposal by Mr. Belanger and his partner Sarah Ward regarding the water bottling facility proposed for Canal Flats. As we receive applications from their group we will proceed accordingly. In addition to The Source of The Columbia Beverages Inc,. the Village is currently engaged with several suitors for new businesses in Canal Flats and remain committed to engaging with the investors as they work through the approvals process.”

“We are not trying to be a large conglomerate”, noted Mr Belanger, adding that the type of aquifer upon which Canal Flats sits does not lend itself to large commercial extraction. What it does offer, he emphasized, is some of the purest water in North America.

To find out more about the project, visit their Facebook page at The Source of the Columbia Beverages.

* Edit: This story has been edited from the original version to reflect correct numbers. The initial story reported the plant would produce 6,000 bottles per day. The Pioneer apologizes for this error.

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

Liberals’ Kootenay-Columbia candidate stands by Trudeau despite scandal

Robin Goldsbury says the prime minister’s racist photo is a learning opportunity

Canal Flats pavilion gets a financial boost

Trust provides over $1.9 million for 12 community projects

Windermere carnival this Sunday

Fundraiser event features bouncy castles, games, reptile room, laser tag, food and fun

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Most Read