Friday, August 3, 2001 (Moncton) – A document that helped to turn the tide against water privatization in the Greater Vancouver area has been distributed to all city councillors in Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe. Members of CUPE Local 51, employed by the City of Moncton, delivered a legal opinion commissioned by CUPE on the impact of NAFTA on Public-Private Partnerships.
The Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) abandoned their plans to privatize their water systems based partly on the legal opinion that we are providing to our city councillors, said CUPE Representative Susan Barton. The City of Moncton should follow their example before it is too late. At the very least, this document raises serious concerns about privatization. Under NAFTA, once you privatize, its very hard to go back or even to make sure that water quality remains high.
USFilter, a subsidiary of Vivendi (one of the companies that presented a bid to the GVRD), has been operating the water treatment plant in Moncton since 1999. The company has submitted an unsolicited bid to run the entire water system for Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe, as a Public-Private Partnership (P3). City Council (many members have been wined and dined by Vivendi, including tours of facilities in the US and Europe) will be considering the proposal in the coming months.
More than 200 members of Local 51 will be affected should the bid be successful. CUPE has serious concerns for how this will affect water pricing and protect water quality. In addition, USFilter has been clear that it intends to use Moncton as the companys in to push for privatization of water systems throughout the Atlantic region.
For more information:
Susan Barton, (506) 327-0868 (cell) or (506) 857-2816 (office)