As of 10 pm CST last night, 23,995 signatures had been collected for the petition against the proposed public-private partnership (P3) wastewater project in Regina.
They had needed 19,300 signatures to prompt a municipal referendum on the P3 project. Regina Water Watch also points out their total is 2,310 signatures more than P3 proponent Mayor Michael Fougere had votes in the last municipal election.
CJME reports, “Regina’s Water Watch group will bring the petition to City Hall on Thursday and are inviting everyone to come and be a part of the process.”
Earlier this week, Global News reported, “Water Watch has received most of its financial support from the Canadian Union of Public Employees, but is made up of about 180 volunteers.” The Council of Canadians Regina chapter has been very active in the campaign to collect signatures. Last week, the national office also e-mailed all Council of Canadians members in Regina to encourage them to sign the petition. Just two weeks before the petition was launched, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and CUPE president Paul Moist spoke against the P3 proposal at a public forum in Regina.
If the City accepts the petition, then a referendum would have to take place within nine months, meaning some time prior to March 20, 2014. If the City’s application to the P3 Canada Fund goes ahead and is accepted, construction would begin in 2014 and the plant would be operational by 2016.
This petition and likely referendum should also be seen as a challenge against the Harper government’s agenda of privatization through P3s. Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui has commented, “PPP Canada became operational in February 2009 (under the Harper government) and has a total of $1.24 billion to allocate under the P3 Canada Fund. PPP Canada explicitly promotes privatization of public services by only providing funding to P3s in water and wastewater, transportation and communications.” In November 2011, Abbotsford rejected a P3 water proposal in a referendum with 74 per cent voting against it. iPolitics has reported, “(The Harper government has) funded PPP Canada faster than the Crown corporation (can) disburse that funding for infrastructure projects.”
For more, please read:
NEWS: Regina petition against P3 wastewater project reaches 20,000 signatures
UPDATE: Council helps support petition drive for P3 referendum in Regina
UPDATE: P3 wastewater plant in Regina could cost $61 million more than public option
NEWS: Regina Water Watch launches petition for referendum on P3 wastewater plant
NEWS: Barlow & Moist speak against P3 wastewater project in Regina