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Winnipeg city council voted 10-6 Jul. 22 to set up a corporate utility to manage its water and wastewater services.

The utility opens the door to public-private partnerships the city calls “strategic partners” to design, build, finance and operate services.

CUPE 500 had lobbied politicians and mobilized members and the public to oppose the change in management. While the local said a public utility could meet city needs, a corporate utility would risk quality of service and increased costs.

A CUPE-sponsored Viewpoints Research poll said 67% of Winnipeggers wanted the city to delay approval of the utility.