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NEWS: Regina chapter to oppose P3 project at City Council meeting today

Jim Elliot

Jim Elliot

The Regina chapter of the Council of Canadians and CUPE Local 21 will be opposing a P3 wastewater treatment plant at a City Council meeting today.

The Regina Leader-Post reports, “Concerned parties will have a chance to weigh in at Monday’s city council meeting on the public-private partnership, or P3, being considered in relation to upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. According to the meeting’s agenda, a recommendation will be made that city council approve proceeding with the Design/Build/Finance/Operate/Maintain P3 procurement approach for the upgrade of the plant.”

Council of Canadians activist Jim Elliot says, “There are a lot of unknowns at this point as well as some inherent additional costs. …Are we going to end up having the city just saying, ‘Sorry, we’ve asked them to do this but if they don’t decide to be forthcoming with the information, then we won’t get it’? …This is a basic human right that the public should have access to and, by giving it to a private corporation, we lose the control of that right to provide that to ourselves essentially. There may be impacts on that potentially in the future, such as pressures to reduce wages (and) pressures to skimp on services. …I don’t discount the fact that the building will be (the city’s), but the service that it provides is private, and so in that sense you can own the building but you can’t necessary guarantee what happens within the building.”

The news article adds, “The deadline for construction completion is set at Dec. 31, 2016 — the date a new permit is to be issued by the province containing what (Regina mayor Michael) Fougere described as more stringent requirements from federal and provincial governments. With an outside cost of $224.3 million, the city has applied to the federal government for $50-58 million — for which Fougere believes the city is eligible under the P3 Canada fund. ‘It doesn’t appear as though we would have any other avenue for any federal/provincial funding in any other model…’ If city council gives its approval to move forward under this model, there will be a request for qualifications issued with a request for proposals to follow later in the year, Fougere said. He expects an answer from the federal government in or around June. Should that funding not come through, the city might look at a model other than a P3, Fougere said.”

For more, please read:
UPDATE: Council of Canadians and CUPE to screen ‘Water Makes Money’ in Regina
NEWS: Regina’s executive committee unanimously backs P3 wastewater proposal
NEWS: Regina to debate P3 wastewater plant, February 13