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Halifax On the eve of the latest deadline for bids on the harbour cleanup, the head of Canadas largest union has a message for the Halifax Regional Municipality:

Its time to end the secrecy and back room deals that have given the harbour cleanup a dirty name, says Judy Darcy, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). Its time to pull the plug on a public private partnership that will have disastrous results for taxpayers, for public health and for public accountability.

Darcy will be in town Thursday to release a report by an independent economist, John Loxley, on the request for proposals on the harbour solutions project. The analysis looks at public sector versus private sector financing and the process for preparing bids.

The report states that the financing costs for this project will likely be higher for private corporations than if the HRM financed the cleanup itself, says Darcy. As well, it takes issue with the secrecy behind the whole bidding process. We need a process thats open to public scrutiny.

Darcy says the analysis supports CUPEs position that the public sector option has not been given fair consideration.

Loxley questions whether the reference bid is valid given that its been prepared by a private sector group thats on record as supporting P3s.

Darcy will be holding a news conference tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Harbourview in Dartmouth to release details of the analysis. At the same time CUPE will also release responses from municipal candidates to a questionaire on the harbour cleanup.

Millions of taxpayers dollars are going to be poured into this harbour cleanup, Darcy concludes. The bidding process should be open and accountable, not behind closed doors at City Hall.

Following the news conference, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. CUPEs Water Watch Committee will be airing dirty laundry as part of an information picket at the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal.

For more information please call
Danny Cavanagh at (902) 455-4180

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