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NEWS: Abottsford-Mission referendum on P3 water project, Nov. 19

The Abbotsford-Mission Times reports, “Abbotsford and Mission are set to open the floodgates of public opinion around a proposed P3 water project at their respective council meetings on Monday night. …Abbotsford council will hear from the public at its meeting held on Monday, April 4, at 7 p.m. at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium. Mission council starts it’s meeting at 6:30 p.m. at city hall, 8645 Stave Lake Street.”

“Both municipal councils – joint members of the Abbotsford/Mission Water Sewer Commission (AMWSC) – are weighing a proposal to use a public private partnership (P3) to fund a $300 million project to use Stave Lake as a future water source. …The private partner, or more likely a consortium of partners, would design, build, finance and operate the project, but control over the quality and quantity of water would remain firmly in the hands of the AMWSC for the length of the 25-year contract, said (Abbotsford mayor George) Peary.”

“CUPE, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, is one of the critics of the plan and the subject of the city’s public letter. …Murray Jones, of Abbotsford CUPE local 774, (says) ‘If it’s designed, built, financed and operated by a private company…I don’t know how much more ‘privatized’ it can become.'”

“A draft business case by Deloitte and Touche suggests up to 25 per cent of the project, or more than $71 million, could be eligible for federal funding secured through (the Harper government’s) Public Private Partnerships Canada (PPP Canada).”

“The final decision about whether Abbotsford and Mission will undertake the P3 project lies in the hands of voters. A public referendum on the project will occur during the upcoming municipal elections (on November 19).”

The full article is at http://www.abbotsfordtimes.com/Abbotsford+Mission+water+project+boil/4549374/story.html.