October 12, 2011

Abbotsford packs the hall for public water

ABBOTSFORD—More than 200 people attended a CETA town hall meeting at the University of the Fraser Valley last night in the home riding of federal Conservative Trade Minister Ed Fast.

The standing-room only crowd heard about the dangers of the Comprehensive Economic Trade agreement and how it affects the ability of communities to maintain public water services from CUPE National president Paul Moist, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and Water Watch Mission-Abbotsford activist Lynn Perrin. 

September 14, 2011

City silent on P3 plans

ABBOTSFORD – 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 Monday.

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 10-minute presentation.

September 7, 2011

Mission to press Ottawa on public water

MISSION—The Mission District Council has unanimously affirmed its opposition to the present federal government constraints on funding for public water services.  At last night’s regular meeting, Council pledged to call on Ottawa to protect and enhance public water and public wastewater systems by not restricting federal infrastructure funding and maintenance to P3s (Public Private Partnerships).

The move came in response to a presentation by Water Watch Mission - Abbotsford detailing Ottawa’s stance that “municipalities must either privatize their water services or they will no

September 6, 2011

CUPE supports public water declaration

MISSION—CUPE members will be on hand tonight to support a Water Watch Mission - Abbotsford delegation at the District of Mission Council meeting.

August 10, 2011

Sooke Council shortens private sewage deal

SOOKE—The District Council has voted to extend its contract with a private sewage company for five years instead of 21 years. The decision came at a District Council meeting Monday night despite calls for a review of wastewater services that would consider more economical and transparent options.

The Council originally tried to give Edmonton-based EPCOR a 21-year “sweetheart deal,” but failed to get enough public support once the details were made public.

July 4, 2011

CUPE members join the march for public water

CUPE members join Mission-Abbotsford community coalition to keep water publicABBOTSFORD – CUPE members joined the Water Watch Mission-Abbotsford contingent in this year’s annual Canada Day Parade.  The community coalition was publicizing the upcoming referendum on the proposed Stave Lake public-private partnership (P3).

WWMA Abbotsford spokesperson Lynn Perrin said they “got lots of public support and had a chance to speak to many local people who hadn’t heard about the plan to operate water for profit

June 13, 2011

O’Neill Van Sun Op-Ed: Water is a gift for all, not a commodity to be sold

BURNABY—There is a water battle boiling in British Columbia as concerned residents in the communities of Mission-Abbotsford organize to stop a proposed $300 million public-private partnership (P3) water project at Stave Lake.

March 28, 2011

Public must act to ensure water stays public

VANCOUVER—The best strategy to ensure that water stays in public hands and isn’t turned over to for-profit business interests is for government to protect natural resources as a public trust. That’s one of the main messages Vancouver and Victoria audiences heard from well-known environmental lawyer and activist Jim Olson on March 23rd and 24th.

As a part of World Water Day activities, CUPE BC co-sponsored the events with the Council of Canadians, the Wilderness Committee and the Sierra Club BC.

March 1, 2011

CRD should keep the door shut on privatized sewage treatment

VICTORIA—CRD directors got a strong message to stay true to their commitment to public sewage treatment and avoid the slippery slope of ‘short-term’ private operation of new sewage treatment.

Concerns were raised in response to a report to the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee (CALWMC) by Ernst and Young on industry interest in participating in the Capital Regional District (CRD) procurement plan.

February 23, 2011

Over 4,700 residents participate in privatization town hall

PENTICTON—Over 4,700 residents from Penticton and surrounding communities participated in a virtual town hall about privatization last night. The virtual town hall was a first for CUPE in B.C.