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WASTE WATER TREATMENT PLANT REFERENDUM, SEPTEMBER 25: VOTE YES!

Posted by strattof on August 18, 2013

September 25 2013, you will be asked to vote on whether you support the City of Regina publically financing, operating, and maintaining Regina’s new $224.3 million waste water treatment plant.

This is an exciting and historic opportunity for our city which has not had a referendum since 1994.

  • Get out and vote on September 25th.  The referendum gives Regina citizens a rare opportunity to have a direct say on a particular matter.
  • VOTE YES and reject the P3 model for our city’s new waste water treatment plant. Turn the page and find out why you should Vote YES

WHY VOTE YES 4 REASONS

1. VOTE YES to save Regina taxpayers money.

According to City Council, the P3 deal will save Regina taxpayers money. It is true that the P3 deal comes with up to $58.5 million in federal government infrastructure funding. If Regina chooses not to go the P3 route, we will lose that federal funding.  

However, this does not mean a P3 waste water plant is a good deal. $58.5 million in federal funding will not make up for the additional costs of the P3.

Cities can borrow money more cheaply than private companies. Private borrowing interest rates are higher than public rates.

P3 loans are usually paid back over a longer period than direct municipal borrowing. In this case it’s a 30-year period over which the City would have to pay interest on the loan.

Private companies need to make a profit. Regina citizens will not only pay for the service, we will also pay for the profit that must be paid to shareholders in the private company that is operating and maintaining the facility over the 30-year period.

City Council claims an additional $78.6 million in savings if the project is a P3. However, it will not say where these savings will come from. What is City Council hiding?

Regina Water Watch, the citizens’ group that organized the petition campaign, says that rejecting the P3 and choosing the publically financed, operated, and maintained model for the new plant will save Regina taxpayers about $13 million. All of the calculations involved are publically available. Google Flushing Money Away or go to: http://reginawaterwatch.ca/files/2013/05/Regina-Waste-Water-Treatment-Plant-Report.pdf

Transparency is essential for democracy. Ask Mayor Fougere and your City Councillor to disclose their secret calculations so citizens can cast an informed ballot.

2. VOTE YES to keep our water public.

According to our Mayor and City Council, waste water isn’t water. It’s sewage or poop. They are wrong.

Waste water is part of the water system. After treatment, it is typically discharged into a river or a lake. In other words, it is treated in order to make the water reusable. “A clean water supply, especially so with regard to sewage, is the single most important determinant of public health” (Wikipedia).

City Council also claims it will control the new plant. Since the plant will be operated and maintained by a private, for-profit company for 30 years, it will actually be nearly impossible for the city to maintain control of the facility. For this reason, the P3 deal can rightly be viewed as a transfer of an essential public service into private hands.

3. VOTE YES to maintain a high quality of service.

Private companies minimize cost in order to maximize profit. When they take over a public service, such as waste water treatment, they typically cut costs by laying off workers and reducing safety measures.

The waste water system in Hamilton-Wentworth provides an instructive example. In order to cut costs, the private company running the plant laid off half the workers. The result? A disastrous reduction in service quality with raw sewage being dumped into Hamilton Harbour. In the end, the city had to step in and take back the plant and clean up the mess.

4. VOTE YES TO KEEP REGINA’S WASTE WATER TREATMENT PLANT UNDER LOCAL CONTROL AND OUT OF THE HANDS OF HUGE CORPORATE FORCES.

Handing off one of our most vital services and assets to a multinational corporation is a lose-lose situation. ●Regina taxpayers lose money. ●The City of Regina loses control of an essential public service.

Who wins with P3s? Large multinational corporations.

WATER IS NOT A COMMODITY.

WATER IS:

A HUMAN RIGHT

A COMMON GOOD

A PUBLIC SERVICE

AN ESSENTIAL HUMAN NEED

KEEP REGINA WATER PUBLIC

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2 Responses to “WASTE WATER TREATMENT PLANT REFERENDUM, SEPTEMBER 25: VOTE YES!”

  1. Clint Molesky said

    I was in the dark about which way to vote. Well until I heard all the city advertising. Then I thought that voting no was the right thing to do. But then I did some digging and found this information. Now I’m leaning to a yes vote. This information needs to be spread through out the city so that more people gain knowledge about the other side, and how the city ads are misleading the public. Yes they say that they will always have control of it but that seems hard to believe. If P3 feels their not making enough money they will lay people off. Just like the railway owners did down East which ended up in a great tragedy killing many people and polluting the environment. And then if they get sued they declare bankruptcy. But where does that leave us?

  2. whoah this blog is great i really like studying your articles.
    Keep up tthe good work! You understand, lots of people are hunting around for this information, you
    could help them greatly.

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