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Regina chapter opposes privatization of Haul Wastewater Station

Regina chapter activist Jim Elliott.

The Council of Canadians Regina chapter presented to Regina City Council’s executive committee today in opposition to a proposal to privatize the City’s publicly owned and operated Haul Wastewater Station.

Hauled wastewater refers to all matter (liquid and solid) that is pumped out of holding tanks from residential and non-residential properties and then hauled in special trucks that transport that wastewater to a wastewater treatment facility.

Chapter activist Jim Elliott says, “The privatization of public haul wastewater station services to EPCOR is unnecessary and unwarranted.”

The Regina chapter, CUPE and other allies campaigned in 2013-2014 against the City of Regina entering into a public-private partnership (P3) arrangement with EPCOR to design, build, finance and operate a new sewage treatment plant.

In his presentation, Elliott noted, “Today, by considering the recommendations of this report, this City is further privatizing the public wastewater utility of this city. This action of selling off more public services is not necessary, nor warranted. The so-called risks of having very poor quality or high strength wastewater entering our wastewater treatment system are very low and could easily be managed by City employees.”

He then highlighted, “The report further states that this will allow the City to transfer the operational risk from the Haul Wastewater Station to EPCOR for little to no additional cost. Anyone who knows businesses are not going to do things out of the kindness of their heart. They are there to make money and profits are the bottom line.”

Elliott concluded, “It is therefore my opinion that this Committee should reject the report’s recommendation and maintain the operations of the Haul Wastewater Station within the public services provided by the City of Regina.”

The EPCOR-owned and operated sewage treatment plant opened in December 2016 under a 30-year contract with the City. The Council of Canadians opposes a further privatization of wastewater services in Regina.