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BURNABY - The Canadian Union of Public Employees congratulates the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) for reconsidering its stand on privatizing water treatment in the region.

Previously the GVRD had said it intended to proceed with plans to have a foreign company design, build and operate the plant planned for the Seymour water shed.

In news reports today GVRD Water Committee Chair Marvin Hunt said the privatization was no longer a done deal because of a public mood of fear and distrust.

CUPE BC President Barry ONeill said that he was delighted the GVRD was beginning to listen to its residents. He noted that in a poll done by CUPE, two thirds of GVRD residents had opposed private management of water plants. In meetings held on June 13 and 14 more than 1000 people turned out to oppose the plans.

Hunt said in news reports that concerns and alarm bells had been raised that the private management of GVRD water plants might fall under the Free Trade Agreements.

Handing our water over to private management raises huge risks under the trade agreements, ONeill said. We cant afford to take that kind of risk with our water. By recognizing this, and by recognizing the concerns of GVRD residents the region has taken a major step.

While congratulating the GVRD for rethinking its position ONeill stressed the importance of continuing to put pressure on GVRD Board members.

Water is a public heritage and we need to make sure the GVRD doesnt forget it, the CUPE BC President said.


Contact: Barry ONeill, CUPE B.C. President, (604) 916-8444

CUPE British Columbia
510-4940 Canada Way,
Burnaby, BC
V5G 4T3
(604) 291-9119