Council of Canadians’ Moncton chapter chair Pamela Ross joined CUPE-New Brunswick to present before Moncton City Council last night about the city’s P3 water contract, which is coming up for renewal in 2019. Gabrielle Ross-Marquette (researcher for CUPE-NB) and Leo Melanson (President of CUPE local 51 – Moncton’s outside workers) were presenting on behalf of CUPE, who has been actively raising awareness on this issue.
Leo Melanson, Gabrielle Ross-Marquette and Pamela Ross present before Moncton City Council on Monday, May 7th 2018.
Veolia built and has been operating Moncton’s drinking water treatment plant at Turtle Creek since securing the contract nearly 20 years ago. This contract expires in 2019 and as such, the City of Moncton quietly launched a Request for Qualification process early this year, which ended on May 4th. They are now in an RFP process for three companies who have distinguished themselves in the FRQ process. Despite CUPE’s requests to meet with Moncton city councillors, there was little interest in discussing the issue.
As Pamela Ross said in her presentation last night, private companies are more interested in making profits for their shareholders than protecting the watershed. We have seen in Flint Michigan how this situation can turn out for residents unable to pay their water bills. The Council of Canadians campaigns on this issue in solidarity with CUPE and others because water is a human right, and everyone should have access to clean drinking water. People before profits!
Before signing another long-term contract, Moncton must press pause and study public operation of the water treatment plant versus the public-private model.
For more information:
– Watch the presentation before Moncton City Council here (starts around the 23-minute mark)
– Read more about the current situation with Moncton’s water treatment plant in a CUPE-NB op-ed shared on facebook here
– Read CofC Water campaigner Emma Lui’s blog here from 2012 about the Moncton P3