Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
A key consultants report has some clear advice for Moncton city council: dont privatize your water supply. The long-awaited report was commissioned last year, after overwhelming public pressure from CUPE and the community forced the city to shelve plans for a secret, untendered contract with Vivendi/Veolia subsidiary US Filter. Even the provincial government questioned the deal, calling the tendering process into question.

The 20-year P3 scheme would have handed management, operation, financing and maintenance of the citys water distribution, sewage and stormwater systems to the multinational. Pro-privatization city officials, including the mayor and city manager, wanted to wash their hands of responsibility for much-needed upgrades to the pipes and pumps, even though repair work underway was going well and being paid for publicly.

Halifax-based Dillon Consulting Ltd. concluded what opponents of the privatization scheme had argued all along: the city can do the upgrades itself, and can spread the cost over the coming 20 years. Having a long-term spending plan means the work will cost about $3 million a year, a much more realistic figure than the multi-million dollar price tag being used as pressure to privatize.

Monctons mayor, a supporter of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships, is still publicly pushing for a P3, saying city council will take the next few months to decide how to proceed.