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NEWS: Saint John P3 to be discussed tonight, $216M bill part of financial terms with private consortium

In a news article late this afternoon, CBC indicates that the financial terms between the City of Saint John and the private consortium who won the contract to upgrade the city’s water delivery system were settled just last week. The finalized documents will be discussed at the Saint John Council meeting tonight.

The CBC article states, “The deal will see a consortium of private companies under the umbrella of Port City Water Partners, which will design, finance, build and then operate the city’s water treatment system for 30 years.

“Construction is expected to be substantially completed by the end of 2018.”

The Council of Canadians supports public water and not P3 or public-private partnership-style agreements which, over the long term, cost substantially more than keeping with the public (government-funded) model. Under P3s, water treatment priorities can conflict with shareholder returns, resulting in increased costs to homeowners and neglected infrastructure, along with other concerns.

According to CBC, “Port City Water Partners is a group of companies led by Brookfield Financial Securities LP, a Canadian-based global investment group.

“Others in the consortium include the Spanish giant Acciona Group through its water division, Acciona Water, North American Construction, engineering and consulting companies AMEC Foster Wheeler and Stantec and Saint John-based Gulf Operators and FCC Construction, owned by Irving.”

Council of Canadians chapters in New Brunswick consistently raise concerns with the strong corporate influence Irving seems to have on government decisions made in the province, including around the proposed Energy East pipeline and Red Head terminal, the allowance of glyphosate (a controversial herbocide used by JD Irving’s forestry division) and former Chief Medical Officer of N.B. Dr. Eilish Cleary’s dismissal, and the future of fracking.

We have been opposing the P3 in Saint John since 2009.

Further reading:
Saint John opts for Spanish company for its P3 drinking water system (Nov. 08, 2015 blog)
Saint John faces costly P3 for their drinking water (Nov. 23, 2013 blog)
Saint John and Regina take note, the global trend is toward water remunicipalisation (Nov. 15, 2014 blog)
Corporate bidders for Saint John’s drinking water system announced (Nov. 7, 2014 blog)
Saint John continues to fight against P3 project (May 17, 2013 blog)
Saint John may vote on P3 water system on March 24 (Feb. 23, 2013 blog)
Council chapter calls for independent consultant in P3 debate in Saint John (March 12, 2013)
Saint John considers P3 water system at special meeting on Feb. 21 (Feb. 20, 2013)
Council of Canadians opposes P3 in Saint John (Oct. 22, 2009 blog)
Council of Canadians asks Saint John to be a ‘blue community’ (Oct. 21, 2009 blog)