​COURTENAY – Residents in Union Bay, Royston and Kilmarnock voted down a proposed Public-Private Partnership (P3) for wastewater treatment in a referendum held last Saturday (June 18) with 75 per cent of voters saying no to private for-profit wastewater treatment.

“Several factors contributed to residents saying no to the proposed P3, but in the end I think the biggest factor was that it is just too risky to proceed with a 30-year contract with an unknown private corporation,” says CUPE Local 556 president Karen Garrett.

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) held the referendum in an effort to gain residents approval to proceed with a P3, a process that would allow the CVRD to bypass the typical process of developing a project through the region’s Liquid Waste Management Plan.

Comox Valley residents are the latest to reject a P3 however many other BC communities have declined for-profit deals for their water or wastewater infrastructure including Kamloops, Whistler, Abbotsford, White Rock and Sooke.

“CUPE Local 556 members work throughout the Comox Valley to deliver valuable services to residents throughout the region. We understand the importance of public water and wastewater treatment services and if the CVRD continues to pursue community infrastructure for wastewater treatment we are committed to working with them to find an affordable and accountable public solution that residents will support.”

CUPE 556 represents municipal workers who provide a variety of important community services in the City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland and the Comox Valley Regional District.