Despite the tainted water tragedy in Walkerton and P3 sewage spills in Hamilton, Ontarios minister of public infrastructure renewal shocked the public by telling reporters hes willing to put water and wastewater systems on the auction block.
Premier Dalton McGuinty scrambled to limit the damage by saying there would be no sell off of provincial water systems. But, he also deliberately left the door open to contracting out and P3s.
McGuinty says Justice Dennis OConnor in the Walkerton case endorsed private sector operations and Ontario should pursue private water and sewer operations. Despite the public outcry over privatizing Ontario hospitals, the Liberals are poised to contract out more vital infrastructure, some as important as water!
The ministry tabled a discussion paper Building a Better Tomorrow, which identifies nine P3 models for building, designing and operating new infrastructure. The paper also recommends higher user fees and a water rate hike. While the intention to pursue P3s is clear, the paper admits theres a problem with private companies making huge profits from P3s.