Municipal workers in North Battleford are urging the city to strongly reject a proposal to enter into a public private partnership to build a new sewage treatment plant.
US Filter Canada, which is owned by the French multinational Vivendi, approached the City of North Battleford with the proposal this spring. The city is currently discussing various ways of financing the construction of a new sewage treatment plant.
CUPE Local 287, which represents 123 municipal workers including sewer and water plant operators, outlined their concerns in a presentation to North Battleford’s City Council on June 17.
“We feel it is extremely important to provide City Council with information about the dangers of public private partnerships,” said local president Barb Plews. “We don’t want the community to lose control of such a vital resource like water to a huge multinational corporation that is more interested in reaping profits than in providing good, clean drinking water.”
Plews said the union is raising its concerns now because US Filter has a history of making unsolicited bids to municipalities.
Several city council members stated at the meeting they had not discussed the P3 proposal. However, both the mayor and city commissioner have told the Battlefords News Optimist that the city should consider all options.