Water services in White Rock had always been privately owned and operated, but in late 2015 the City of White Rock voted unanimously to expropriate their water utility from Edmonton-based, for-profit company EPCOR, and instead have CUPE workers operate it in-house.

“While (it) always viewed EPCOR as a prudent owner and operator, the City’s desire to purchase the utility assets arose out of an interest by the City Council and Administration to own its water assets and have the economic benefits go to White Rock and its residents,” the City reported.

CUPE 402-01 President Mike Guraliuk agrees that the move made sense.

“It’s about controlling our resources and the quality of services that public workers provide. We are very pleased that the City has taken this direction,” says Guraliuk, adding that the change has brought at least five water workers into the City’s CUPE workforce.

Chief Administrative Officer Dan Bottrill thanks City staff and CUPE executive members who, he says, “both sought to cooperate and come to an agreement and provided us the opportunity to move forward with an in-house solution.”