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HRM council has an opportunity now to do the right thing, and go with a publicly-owned and operated water treatment facility for the Halifax harbour. “

That message was delivered to CUPE Nova Scotias provincial convention in Stellarton by National President Judy Darcy. Darcy told a record number of delegates, “last weeks announcement by HRM that it was withdrawing its legal action against one of the private bidders means its time to move forward with a public model.”

Said Darcy, “I have confidence that Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly and members of council have had enough of the legal wrangling and now realize that HRM itself must take the leadership role thats needed to get the Halifax Harbour cleaned up once and for all.

“If HRM needs more proof that privatization of water or waste water is frought with problems, they need only look to a recent legal opinion by international trade expert Steven Shrybman. Shrybman says, Municipal governments should think twice before privatizing public services because under international trade rules the cost of reversing that decision could be prohibitive.

“Trade agreements, like NAFTA and now the FTAA, stack the deck against public delivery of services. But worse still, they make privatization a virtual one-way street, making it impossible to return control of vital public services to governments. I dont think residents of the Halifax Regional Municipality want this to happen,” says Darcy.

“Water is Nova Scotias most valuable resource,” says Darcy, “and we simply cannot let it be sold to the lowest bidder.”