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A new survey shows the overwhelming majority of Capital Regional District (CRD) residents want new sewage treatment to be operated publicly, not by private corporations. Residents of the BC region also want environmentally-advanced technology to reuse and recycle waste.

An Environics survey, commissioned by CUPE BC, found CRD residents overwhelmingly trust the district more than a private corporation to operate a new sewage treatment facility. Three out of four residents (76 per cent) trust the regional district a lot (50 per cent) or a little (26 per cent) more, compared to just 16 per cent who would trust a private corporation a lot (7 per cent) or a little (9 per cent) more.

Getting on with the job is a key priority. Six in ten (61 per cent) think building a new sewage treatment facility to serve the Capital Region should be a high priority. Another 28 per cent think it should be a medium priority.

Six in ten (62 per cent) think it should be a high priority for the regional district to bring in resource recovery to reuse and recycle wastewater in the CRD.

In July 2006, the B.C. government directed the CRD to bring in proper sewage treatment – with a very short timeline of June 2007. Following this, Premier Campbell announced that provincial funding for the project would be tied to a P3.

CRD residents feel it is unfair that the Campbell government has linked provincial government funding for CRD sewage treatment to consideration of privatized operation. Seven in ten (71 per cent) consider this to be unfair to the residents and taxpayers of the CRD compared to just 24 per cent who think it is fair.

CUPE 1978, representing CRD staff, found a creative way to bring its message about the need for public sewage treatment to members and the public at a recent forum on P3s. The local handed out free cookies decorated with the campaign theme: Public Sewage Treatment: Clean, Green, Affordable.

CUPE is pushing hard to ensure the long-awaited sewage treatment plant is clean, green, affordable and public. Find out more on CUPE BC’s campaign web site.