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The city of Moncton is moving away from entering into a P3 deal with US Filter to manage its water distribution system. The Vivendi-owned company, which operates the citys water treatment plant, submitted an unsolicited proposal six months ago to take control of the citys pipes and pumping stations.

But the promised savings have dwindled, leaving people questioning the value of the deal. At the same time, officials are considering a city-commissioned report on the needed work and cost of upgrades.

The only thing thats changed now is we know how much it would cost if we did it ourselves, says councillor Brian Hicks. Councillors argue that some city officials were fast-tracking the deal to avoid a thorough comparison between the US Filter offer and the cost of public operation. Mayor Brian Murphy, a keen P3 proponent, has recently concluded theres a lack of will among council to push the deal forward.

The independent study showed that it would cost the city less to upgrade the system itself, with public financing and operation.

CUPE members attended municipal meetings to voice their opposition to a P3 takeover and promise a fight to ensure the water system stays in public hands.