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UPDATE: Barlow takes ‘no P3, no CETA’ message to Abbotsford, Oct. 11

Abbotsford city hall

Abbotsford city hall

The Abbotsford-Mission Times reported in early-April, “Abbotsford and Mission municipal councils – joint members of the Abbotsford/Mission Water Sewer Commission – are weighing a proposal to use a public private partnership (P3) to fund a $300 million project to use Stave Lake as a future water source. …The private partner, or more likely a consortium of partners, would design, build, finance and operate the project, but control over the quality and quantity of water would remain firmly in the hands of the AMWSC for the length of the 25-year contract, said (Abbotsford mayor George) Peary. …The final decision about whether Abbotsford and Mission will undertake the P3 project lies in the hands of voters. A public referendum on the project will occur during the upcoming municipal elections (on November 19).”

While Mission council subsequently rejected the P3 proposal, Abbotsford council continues to pursue the option.

Today the Canadian Union of Public Employees reports, “Calls for public disclosure on plans to privatize Abbotsford’s drinking water supply for the next 25 years were met with a stony silence from the Mayor and Council on September 12. There were no kudos, comments, questions, or answers from Mayor George Peary and his Council on any of the comments and concerns raised by Water Watch Mission-Abbotsford in a ten-minute presentation. …WWMA spokesperson Lynn Perrin made the presentation to Council asking for details and clarification on the proposed $300 million-Stave Lake P3 (public private partnership) project.”

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and CUPE president Paul Moist (tbc) will be speaking in Abbotsford on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement on Tuesday October 11.

Notably, the current trade minister in Harper’s government is Abbotsford MP Ed Fast, who was also an Abbotsford city councillor between 1996 and 2005.