The Province Nov 20, 2011 NO P3 vote almost 75%

A message from Maude Barlow Council of Canadians to Abbotsford voters November 18, 2011

Abbotsford encouraged to vote ‘no’ in water privatization referendum
A ‘NO’ vote in Abbotsford referendum to set precedent for protecting public water services across Canada

This Saturday, Abbotsford will take the critical vote on whether or not to support a Public-Private Partnership (P3) that the city has proposed where a private company would design, build and operate a proposed water source and treatment centre at Stave Lake for up to 30 years.

“There are serious concerns about water privatization,” says Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow. “The Stave Lake project would be only the second full-bore (Design, Build, Finance, Operate) water privatization scheme in Canada and would set a dangerous precedent across the country. P3s cost more than public water services, lack transparency and threaten local democracy. On November 19, citizens of Abbotsford need to say ‘no’ to a P3 in Abbotsford.”

The P3 Stave Lake project would cost $300 million – the largest privately financed undertaking in the water sector in Canada to date. The Harper government has agreed to spend $65.7 million of public money on it from the P3 Canada Fund. The fund explicitly promotes the privatization of public services by only funding P3s in water and wastewater, transportation and communications.

Originally, the P3 plan involved neighbouring city Mission. However, due to public concern and protest against P3s, the Mission Council decided not to join Abbotsford in their application to the P3 Canada Fund.

“The city has spent more than $200,000 on a one-sided campaign promoting this P3 project,” says Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui. “The city’s website claims that current water supply will not be able to meet demands after 2016. However former Abbotsford Chief City Engineer Ed Regts has highlighted that the current water sources for Abbotsford are not even close to capacity and are more than able to provide water for Abbotsford until at least 2023.” In addition, the Abbotsford-Mission Water and Sewer Commission has stated the current water supply is sufficient – as long as conservation measures take place – until 2031.

“The Harper government is also seeking a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe that would encourage and then lock in water privatization contracts,” Barlow adds, noting European Union negotiators have been asking that Canada’s municipalities and their water utilities be included in a chapter on public procurement. “The goal is to expand the role of private EU-based water firms in the delivery, treatment and management of municipal water systems in Canada.”

The Council of Canadians is part of Water Watch Mission-Abbotsford, a broad-based coalition of nearly 1000 community activists and representatives from organizations. The Council of Canadians is urging citizens in Abbotsford to protect water as a human right, commons and public trust by voting ‘no’ in the referendum on Saturday, November 19, 2011.


For More Information:

Dylan Penner, Media Officer, Council of Canadians, 613.795.8685, dpenner@canadians.org
Twitter: @CouncilOfCDNs Facebook: canadians.org/facebook

CETA and the Future of Water in Abbotsford video

WATER TRADING is this what is planned for the extra 300 MLD  from Stave Lake?

Mission and Abbotsford’s Private Water War by Lynn Perrin June 2011

New UBC Resaerch finds that there is a more affordable option for Abbotsford

Abbotsford Mission Water and Sewer Commission Reports and Minutes 

This is where I obtained information – not on the City of Abbotsford web site that has lead me to say NO P3 …. I urge you to take a look at the Sept. 2010 and Feb. 2011 agendas

Abby city fear-mongering & wasteful PR spending won’t help sell P3 water

Oct. 3, 2011 ABBOTSFORD – The City of Abbotsford is spending taxpayers’ money recklessly to sell the Stave Lake P3 water project with a fear-mongering campaign (re supposed-imminent water crisis) intended to compel Abbotsford residents to privatize their water supply for 30 years, hand it over to a multinational to be run for a profit for $1 million more in operating costs a year, according to city’s own Deloitte & Touche report.

There are several alternatives to the P3 approach being pushed by Abbotsford that are being ignored. In fact, the Canadian way is to keep water services in public hands which is why last Friday (Sept. 30th), B.C.’s mayors and councillors gathered at their annual convention in Vancouver voted almost unanimously to support a Blue Communities resolution committing them to promote public water and wastewater services and call on the federal government to make accessible adequate funding to ensure these vital services remain in public hands. A recent Environics national poll (June 2011) found that 87% of Canadians think our drinking water is a precious natural resource that should remain public and be protected from private corporate interests.

The Stave Lake P3 water project was initially proposed as a joint-project between Mission and Abbotsford. Residents in both communities expressed a flood of opposition to privatizing their water services. See WWMA Youtube channel.

While Mission Council listened to the wishes of its residents and voted the joint-P3 water project down, the Mayor of Abbotsford has championed the project, built an internal “P3 team”, assigned high-ranking staff to work full-time on selling the project, hired an expensive corporate PR firm (Pace Group Communications) and 13 additional “P3 staff” on contract from Sept 26 – November 18th. All paid for by taxpayer dollars without any accountability or approvals for this spending. The referendum is scheduled for November 19th, 2011.

The city of Abbotsford was most recently in the news for its latest disastrous deal with a private partner, a 10-year agreement that guaranteed the profits of the private partner while leaving Abbotsford taxpayers on the hook subsidizing the Abbotsford Heat, this year to the tune of $1.4 million for a total of $1.8 million in only two years (Vancouver Sun, September 30, 2011).
Lynn Perrin, Abbotsford Spokesperson Water Watch Mission-Abbotsford

City Manager Summer 2010 – adding more water for a few days does not make economic or environmental sense

Abbotsford News Mar 11, 2011

For the Love of Water

Youtube Presentation to City Council Apr. 4, 2011

Water Pressure Abbotsford News Sept. 6, 2011

UK Parliament report on PFIs (aka P3s) Aug. 2011

BC Auditor General Report on Vancouver Ambulatory Care Centre (Diamond Centre) May 2011




Vancouver Sun Oct. 4, 2011

The Province Oct. 6, 2011

Abbotsford News article Oct. 11, 2011

Abbotsford News Oct. 12, 2011

CTV Oct. 21, 2011 P3 still the more costly option even with federal $$$

CKNW Oct. 21, 2011  12:30 news

Abbotsford News Oct. 21, 2011

Abbotsford Times Oct 21, 2011

Vancouver Co-op Radio Oct. 29, 2011

Three stimulus projects used surplus to add to scope a P3 private partner will keep ALL of the surplus

Detailed informaiont about PPP Canada and lack  of Canadian P3 firms

Excerpts from PPP Canada report (above):

P3 impact on municipalities

“Several challenges for municipalities in pursuing P3s have been identified by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and are important to keep in mind. The first challenge is the complexity and cost of P3 procurement and contract negotiations, and the fact that it is generally more expensive for private sector partners to borrow money for a project than it is for the public sector.” Pg 12

Canadian P3 Firms
“Most leading P3 firms are foreign (UK, Australia, Spain etc.). This reflects the longer history in other countries with P3s. It also reflects the structure of the Canadian private-sector – generally, small to mid-size engineering, construction management firms. There are some in industry who are not supportive of P3s because they contend that contracts tend to go to non-Canadian firms. There are very few Canadian firms that have the capacity and balance sheet to lead P3 projects. However, many firms participate in subordinate roles. The majority of lead bidders are foreign.” Pg 14

Website: www.waterwatchma.ca


3 responses to this post.

  1. Love your passion, Lynn.. You have my vote.


  2. The site looks good, slay the giant so the peasants can return to the fields without fear of corporate controlled water. Gasoline is bad enough; imagine paying more for water on a long weekend. Then there comes the Hydro part of plunder & control the masses.. There Woking on the internet as we type, what’s wrong with this picture folks? Vote from your heart not your pocket book; then all this will change.


  3. Posted by DeceitinDrugs on November 14, 2011 at 3:06 am

    “Who is behind the vote”yes” water signs?

    I would like to direct you to the “vote yes = affordable water,” full page
    advertisement in the Abbotsford Times on Nov. 10, 2011.

    It says, on November 19, vote yes for Stave lake water.”

    Chamber of Commerce, Abbotsford

    The signage has the same m.o. as the advertisement put out in
    the newspaper, the same day and it says:

    Dave Holberg, Bobcat Country, K.J. Kim, Heritage Valley Resort, the
    Esposito Group, through the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and
    is supported by past and present chamber presidents:

    James Barlow, Fionna Brett, Karen Young, Patricia Sapeniak, John\
    Friesenm Alan Aspah, Satvir Gill, Rita Walker and Patrick Giesbrecht,
    2011 Chamber president

    It was Fionna Brett, 2006 president, who said, “Abbotsford Chamber
    and its members are offering unfettered support for Plan A.”

    Brett said, ” the business community will only flourish if enough capital
    and human investment is attracted to make the community grow and prosper.”

    Plan A costs of $116 million plus $71 debt servicing over 25 years, total
    $187 million.

    This does not include the almost $7 million arena/hockey subsidies for
    2009 & 2010 paid by the taxpayers of Abbotsford.

    It required Mayor Peary to announce in 2009 that the city was in a
    “cash crunch.”

    It was Ross Brown, past Chamber president, who said, “residents
    should focus on quality of life indicators.”

    Abbotsfrd residents are,now, focusing on the various city cuts to
    staff, programs and services to balance the annual budget, because,
    Plan A drained our Capital reserve Fund and Parks & Rec budget,
    and had them taking funds from the 2009 & 2010 operating budgets,
    as well.

    The “concerned citizens, who have paid for the advertisement and
    perhaps the signage are specific developers/business people, who
    have served on the Chamber, Executive and have been appointed ,
    by mayor and Council to the cities’, Abbotsford Airport Authority,
    Economic Development Commision, City Industry Committee, Police
    Board, Agriculture committee and/or Tourism/tradex board of directors.

    Dave Holmberg, chair of the Abbotsford Airport Authority serves with
    Mayor Peary, and Vice-chair, Dianne Deleves (developer) and Finance
    chair, Lane Sweeting (developer/owner, Abbotsford heat Hockey Ltd.)

    He was, also, a director on the cities’ Economic Development Commision
    in 2010 with Dianne Delves, Dennis Neumann (developer,) Ken Baerg,
    new director,Economic Devlopment Commision, R. Huston and Bob Bos,
    R.W. Contracting, former A.D.B.A., president.

    The Esposito Group, led by Paul esposito are, also, involved in business and

    The same group of people were involved in getting Plan A approved,
    and Fionna Brett said, “the business community will only flourish, if
    enough capital and human investment is attracted to make the community
    grow and prosper.”

    They are, now, advocating a vote for “yes to water.”

    The “yes for water” signs recently put out are very misleading. Citizens
    are “not to vote yes or no for water.”

    Citizens are to ” vote yes or no for a P3 (private/public partnership) to
    build a new Stave Lake Water source project,” which includes an
    intake pump/pump station, water treatment plant and transmission mains
    to transport the water from Stave Lake and to allow the city to borrow
    4230 million to proceed with the P3 project.

    Vote NO for P3 Water Plan and support “sustainable development.”


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