New research exposes the risks of privatizing Canada’s water and wastewater systems by entering into public-private partnerships with one of the world’s biggest corporations.

The in-depth profile of water multinational Veolia Environnement is the second in a series produced jointly by CUPE and the Polaris Institute.

The profile documents problems with Veolia-controlled water systems at home, and around the world. It also highlights the growing trend of cities regaining control of their water and wastewater systems, including Paris, France and Berlin, Germany.

Public risks, private profits shines a spotlight on water and wastewater services corporations in Canada’s P3 market. The profiles provide overviews of corporate structures and governance, lobby activity, past and present P3 contracts, and background on legal troubles or controversies.

The companies being profiled are diverse, ranging from international corporations to smaller Canadian based financers and contractors. The common thread is their desire to profit from public water and wastewater systems through P3s.

The Public risks, private profits series is an important tool for communities challenging P3s. Pressure to privatize is mounting, with federal crown corporation PPP Canada targeting municipal water systems, and the Conservative government’s Building Canada Fund forcing all infrastructure projects worth $100 million or more to be screened for P3 suitability.

The first profile exposed the controversial track record of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. Future profiles will include Bilfinger Berger, Black & Veatch, CH2M Hill, Epcor and Suez. All are corporations identified in a PPP Canada-commissioned study on Canada’s water and wastewater systems.