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Hamilton Water Watch is teaming up with a city councillor to force the municipal government to reveal how much privatized water management has cost.

When Sam Merulla, a city councillor for the southwest Ontario city, asked for a full accounting of the 10-year contract to manage Hamiltons water, the administration said the information was confidential. When he filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, the city said they would charge him $2800 to retrieve the information.

Determined to expose the real costs of privatization, the local Water Watch committee stepped in to help fund the information request, launching a community appeal to raise the necessary money.

There are many unanswered questions about the actual costs incurred by the city as part of this contract, says Water Watch spokesperson Grant Ranalli. These private deals are kept so secret that not even our elected representatives are given the full financial picture.

Its a shame that Councillor Merulla has to pay for information that should be public.