It was a packed house at the University of Regina’s Education Auditorium for our event, Public vs P3 Privatization: Regina’s Watershed Moment, featuring Maude Barlow, Marley Weiser, and Pierre Hamel.
“A P3 is like an armour-plated marriage where you don’t know who will be in your bed,” Hamel, who takes issue with P3 promoters insisting that positive outcomes are a sure thing was quoted in a Leader Post article on the forum. “Who the hell is able to say for sure that the P3 is going to be something great?”
At a press conference held prior to the event, Council of Canadians Chairperson Maude Barlow warned Regina about voting no and ending up with a P3, saying, “If Regina goes ahead to privatize its water, I promise you in five years you’re going to be having a debate about how to undo this. It’s happening all over the world where communities have gone the private route [and] they’re sorry. When it’s a private company, they have to make a profit … and there are only so many ways you can do this. You have to raise water rates higher than the public rates … our you have to cut corners somewhere and you have to lay off the work force.”
Retired Environment Canada research scientist Marley Waiser disputed the city’s claim that the waste water system has nothing to do with water, pointing out that “at certain times of the year Wascana Creek is made up of almost 100 per cent treated sewage effluent.”
“The waste water can’t be separated from the stream flow, there’s just no way you can say that,” Waiser explained.