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WINNIPEGThere is a growing recognition among Canadians that more money needs to be invested in drinking water and wastewater facilities says Dollars and Democracy, a report released today by the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

While four in ten Canadians want more money invested in our public water infrastructure, this report shows that the federal governments commitment is woefully inadequate, CUPE Manitoba President Paul Moist said. Canadian cities and towns need more than $5 billion a year for the next decade yet the federal commitment totals $2.65 billion over six years and thats for all infrastructures, not just water systems! Even when matched by money from the provincial and municipal governments, it just cant meet the needs of our aging and decaying water and wastewater systems.

The report, CUPEs third annual on privatization, documents the active role the federal Liberals are playing in pushing privatization and the resulting high cost to Canadians on everything from health care to public utilities. Yet Canadians want to keep our water public say the reports polls. Seventy-six per cent support public ownership and operation of water services while 57 per cent want an increase in regulation enforcement.

As Dollars and Democracy clearly shows privatized British water with its price hikes and ballooned profit-taking is no model for Canada. Even U.S. cities are turning down or driving out water corporations, said Moist. We need to heed these examples, become better informed and press governments at all levels to protect and secure our water systems.

CUPE is part of the Winnipeg Water Watch community coalition hosting the On the Water Front conference to be held in Winnipeg on April 6 and 7th.

As well as water issues, the CUPE privatization reports looks at trade, universities, long-term care, electrical utilities and child care. Copies are available from the CUPE Regional office in Winnipeg at 942-0343 or on the web site at cupe.ca


For information please contact:
Paul Moist, President
CUPE Manitoba and Local 500
Cell: 981-2873; Office: 942-1001