Global News reports, “A Regina citizen’s group said it’s confident it has enough petition signatures to force a referendum on a public private partnership for the new wastewater treatment plant. It will be the first referendum in the city since 1991.”
Regina Water Watch believes they have collected more than 20,000 signatures for the petition.
“They are hoping they have more than they need – last week, the City of Regina made a last minute request to the province to increase the threshold from 19,300 signatures to 20,750 to reflect health card information instead of 2011 census numbers. Minister of government relations, Jim Reiter said he would make a decision by Tuesday.” Along with shifting the goal posts, Regina Water Watch’s Jim Holmes is concerned the city may also try to dispute the validity of the signatures gathered.
“Water Watch has received most of its financial support from the Canadian Union of Public Employees, but is made up of about 180 volunteers.” The media has reported that CUPE also came up with the idea for the petition. The Council of Canadians Regina chapter has been very active in the campaign to collect signatures. Last week, the national office also e-mailed all Council of Canadians members in Regina to encourage them to sign the petition. Just two weeks before the petition was launched, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and CUPE president Paul Moist spoke against the P3 at a public forum in Regina.
“The deadline to bring the petition forward is Thursday.” If the petition is successful, then a referendum would have to take place within nine months, meaning some time prior to March 20, 2014. If the city’s application to the P3 Canada Fund is accepted, construction would begin in 2014 and the plant would be operational by 2016.
For more, please read:
UPDATE: Council helps support petition drive for P3 referendum in Regina
UPDATE: P3 wastewater plant in Regina could cost $61 million more than public option
NEWS: Regina Water Watch launches petition for referendum on P3 wastewater plant
NEWS: Barlow & Moist speak against P3 wastewater project in Regina