Winnipeg’s city council has voted in favour of creating an arm’s-length utility to manage its water and waste services.

The motion to create a new utility was passed by a 10-6 margin.

After weeks of controversy and protests against water privatization, Mayor Sam Katz has maintained that the decision does not involve the privatization of Winnipeg’s water.

“(Today) I witnessed a display of hypocrisy and doublespeak that has become synonymous with the self-proclaimed official opposition to progress in our city,” Katz said during yesterday’s meeting. “The sky isn’t red, the world isn’t flat, we’re not privatizing water.”

Despite the decision, a large group of citizens and some councillors remain upset by the decision.

“They clearly haven’t listened to concerns of citizens enough,” said Fort Rouge Coun. Jenny Gerbasi told the Winnipeg Sun. “There’s still so much confusion, I don’t think citizens still know what has been decided today.

“This is a huge decision that’s been made and I’m not sure what power and control council will have over the future of this department now.”

Read more about Winnipeg’s water utility debates in CWT’s upcoming September/October issue.

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