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NEWS: Council chapter calls for independent consultant in P3 debate in Saint John

CBC reports that the Council of Canadians wants Saint John city council to delay its plans to apply to a federal public-private partnership fund for the city’s new water treatment system. “Wayne Dryer, with the Saint John chapter of the Council of Canadians, said he believes council is being pushed in the direction of Public-Private Partnerships Canada — or P3 — which could lead to a decades-long arrangement with a private company operating the city’s new water treatment system. …Dryer said he doesn’t believe the municipality’s consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers, is truly independent of the industry groups involved in public-private partnerships. ‘Access to water is a human right and not a commodity that can be sold or purchased’, said Dryer. ‘We believe the diligence in this matter must include the city seeking advice from independent experts other than those who are in the business of advocating public-private partnerships.'”“Former Mayor Ivan Court agreed councillors need to bring in an additional consultant who can supply costs for the competing public option. ‘Where the city hires a company to work for them, independent from a company that works for P3s’, he said.” The article notes, “Council has set a deadline of April 5 to have the city’s business case application ready to send to P3 Canada.” For more, please see: NEWS: Saint John may vote on P3 water system on March 24 NEWS: Saint John considers P3 water system at special meeting Council of Canadians opposes P3 in Saint John