History shows P3s don’t work

Dear editor,

There is no question that upgrades to sewer treatment in the CVRD are necessary. I know that a hefty bill is coming, but the health of Baynes Sound and environmental sustainability are very important, and we should not nickel and dime our ecological future.

I do, however, have serious questions about whether our tax dollars should pay the profits of a private corporation for the next 30 years (Question 2 in next week’s referendum). This proposal heads in the opposite direction of many municipalities around the world that have discovered through hard experience that Public Private Partnership (P3) schemes are more expensive and difficult to control than keeping projects in-house. For instance, 67 per cent of England’s municipalities are re-municipalizing services that had previously been contracted out, and notably, Paris has done the same with its water services.  Closer to home, the District of Sooke ended their contract with EPCOR after finding residents would save hundreds of thousands of dollars by taking back their utility in-house as a completely public service.

Initial plans for the South Sewer Project did not involve a private partner, which would have allowed the CVRD to borrow money from the Municipal Financing Authority (MFA) at a much lower interest rate than a private sector operator. The P3 proposal means this option is no longer available. Further, the CVRD needs to explain to us why they are approaching the federal government for P3 funding rather than from the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund that does not require P3 partnerships.

The history of P3 partnerships is full of examples where cost over-runs, inadequate monitoring and testing, poor quality and high service fees end up being the responsibility of the public partner to clean up or manage.  I strongly urge us to not lock ourselves into that kind of relationship for the next 30 years.  Rather, let’s create a legacy of an affordable, democratically accountable wastewater system.  I plan to vote no to a Public-Private Partnership for the South Sewer Project on June 18, and urge my neighbours to do the same.

Alice de Wolff,

Union Bay

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shelter Point Distillery won several Canadian Whisky Awards this year, including a gold for best single malt. Facebook photo
Vancouver Island’s Shelter Point Distillery wins gold for single malt

Business won nine medals at recent Canadian Whisky Awards virtual ceremony

Comox Valley-raised Shay Sandiford has earned a spot on the Canada skateboard team. Facebook
Courtenay skateboarder selected to first-ever national team

A young man from Courtenay is among 12 athletes who have been… Continue reading

A WestJet flight on the runway leaving Comox. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Aviation company seeks contracted employees to fill former WestJet roles at YQQ

Menzies Aviation from Edinburgh Park, Scotland, operates in 34 countries across the world

A cougar was spotted Monday near Queneesh Elementary. (WildSafe BC photo)
Cougar sighted Monday near Courtenay school

Conservation officers are warning the public to avoid the wooded areas around… Continue reading

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Vancouver Island sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Nanaimo store, cutting himself in the process

Riverside Calvary Church in Walnut Grove. (Langley Advance Times file)
B.C. is ‘stereotyping’ churches as riskier for COVID than other spaces, lawyer argues

Judge said that freedom of expression, religion are not at issue in the case

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent comes first and last for B.C. industrial projects

Environment minister can still approve permits without consent

B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Kootenay man appeals 7-year conviction for New Year’s Eve kidnapping, beating

Brandon Coons, 27, was convicted on five charges, including assault with a weapon

Nootka Sound RCMP responded to a workplace fatality report south of Gold River on Monday morning. (Campbell River Mirror photo)
One dead in workplace accident at Gold River logging site

The RCMP and Work Safe BC are investigating the incident at Western Forest Product’s TFL 19

Ladysmith’s famous Festival of Lights decorations are still up as of March 1, 2021. (Cole Schisler photo)
PHOTOS: It’s still looking a lot like Christmas in Ladysmith

Festival of Lights volunteers cannot remove the holiday roof top displays due to COVID-19

An investigation is underway after two VPD officers were recorded posing for pictures near a dead body at Third Beach on Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
Vancouver officers placed on desk duty after filmed posing next to dead body

Pair put in ‘non-deployable, admin positions’ as the investigation into their conduct continues

Most Read