Water multinational Veolia has taken over the taps and sewers in Walkerton, Ont. The corporation signed a deal with the municipality of Brockton, which includes the town, earlier this summer. The agreement comes six years after contaminated water led to an E. coli outbreak that killed seven people and made up to 2,500 others sick.
Veolia will manage, operate and maintain the municipality’s water and wastewater system for the next five years. The move flies in the face of evidence presented by CUPE and others at the Walkerton Inquiry into the tainted water tragedy. CUPE’s strong pro-public position at the inquiry was echoed by other groups, including the Ontario Municipal Water Association, which argued “the public’s interest is best served by public ownership and control of water supply systems.”