REGINA – Regina Water Watch is concerned by an email they received yesterday from the City Clerk’s office advising them that the City has requested that the Saskatchewan Minister of Government Relations use his discretion to increase the threshold of signatures required. The City has asked that the threshold be set at 20,750 – using a health card count – instead of 19,301 – based on census figures.
“We’re concerned that this request has come one week before the petition deadline, and after news reports that we are on track to reach the legal requirement,” says Jim Holmes, Regina Water Watch spokesperson. “It’s unfair.”
Holmes likens this move to moving the finish line of a marathon to the 27-mile mark after runners have already reached more than the halfway point.
“It’s unfair to the public to change the goalposts in the last quarter,” says Holmes
The City’s controversial proposal to build the new wastewater treatment plant using P3 privatization funds and have a private company design, build, finance, operate and maintain the plant is the subject of a petition that more than 19,000 Regina residents have already signed.
Regina Water Watch has released its own detailed study by economist Hugh Mackenzie that shows that the City’s proposal is a more expensive way to build and operate the new plant. Despite repeated attempts including an Access to Information Request, the City has refused to disclose the calculations and assumptions that support its proposal.
The citizens’ group has been collecting signatures since March 22. Petitions are due on June 20, 2013. The petition calls for a referendum vote to determine whether or not the City will publicly finance, operate and maintain the new wastewater treatment plant.