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A leading European water expert says private companies should not be involved with municipal water systems.

Riccardo Petrella says the people of Moncton should think about the consequences of having US Filter manage the water supply. And he called on them to follow the example of Vancouver residents and convince city council that water belongs to the public.

More than 300 people packed an auditorium last Tuesday to hear Petrella, a world reknowned scholar on water and water privatization.

Petrella says if Moncton city council hands over its distribution system to US

Filter, it’s the citizens who will eventually lose. “They will lose the ultimate control of these goods.”

Petrella says it has already happened in England and France where private companies run the water systems. He says rates there went up and in an effort to save money, the companies replaced workers with technology.

Petrella says city council may believe it is signing a public-private agreement, but it won’t be long before the municipality realizes the partnership means something else.

To my mind, the private public partnership is just planning for profit privatization. This is the real nature of the PPP,” he says.