CUPE 51 outside workers are denouncing the City of Moncton’s decision to extend its contract with Veolia Canada Ltd. which will allow the company to control and profit from the Metro region’s drinking water supply for another five years.
The Council ratified the decision on Monday night with no questions nor discussions. “The decision was made to continue the privatization of the water treatment plant in the shadows,” said Leo Melanson, President of CUPE 51. “There was no mention of it on the agenda for the Council meeting – this is an insult to Monctonians who in a way, were prevented from voicing their opinions,” he added.
This decision by Council to extend the deal giving control of an essential city service to a private company comes on the heels of another questionable choice to extend a contract with FERO Inc. regarding curbside garbage collection.
“Council decided to hand over sanitation services to FERO Inc. even though their one-year pilot project cost more than expected and the company was unable to prove that injuries decreased over that time period”, said Keith Hatto, Second Vice-President for the local. “Contracting out essential public services has severe consequences for Moncton residents, and the future of the city’s workforce – not only are we losing good jobs, but the city will also face unpredictable and rising costs from private companies who chase profits”.
It is particularly distressing that the City of Moncton continues to pursue privatization in the light of their climate emergency declaration, made official on April 1, 2019. Handing over their public assets to private corporations whose first goal is to make profits, not protect the planet, decreases the city’s actual capacity for positive climate action.