The municipal district of Rockyview has shelved plans for a water P3 with Terasen Utility Services. The proposal would have given the British Columbia corporation exclusive rights to provide water services to all future developments in the area. A December council meeting lost quorum, effectively killing the plan.
CUPE Alberta joined forces with local chapters of the Sierra Club and Council of Canadians to oppose the P3. The coalition participated in community events and distributed information about the proposal, and the importance of public water services, to all municipal councillors. The final decision was deferred until after Octobers municipal election.
CUPE and its allies argued Rockyview could establish its own public water service using public infrastructure funds, or could work with neighbouring Calgary to extend its public water services to the region. The coalition will continue to support the development of a public water utility strategy for the municipal district, planning for a major expansion of the community.
Terasen Utility Services is a company to watch, as it seeks to expand its share of the western Canadian water market. A wholly owned subsidiary of B.C. natural gas provider Terasen, the corporation operates more than 50 water and wastewater treatment systems in B.C. and Alberta. In September, Terasen signed a 20-year P3 deal to operate the sewage system in Langford, B.C. That community is now considering selling off its water delivery.