Winnipeg is no longer considering a private partner for its water and sewer facilities, reports the Winnipeg Free Press. Instead, the city is replacing its water and waste department with a new city-owned entity responsible for water and sewage treatment, garbage and recycling collection and generating green power.

Last July, amid much controversy, the City decided that a city-owned entity may include the possibility of 49 per cent private ownership of a subsidiary of the corporation. The City entertained proposals from water operations giants Veolia, Black & Veatch and CH2M HILL. They’ve since changed their tune.

“We’re not looking at a strategic partner. We’re looking for expertise,” Winnipeg’s mayor, Sam Katz, told the Free Press on Wednesday.

UPDATE – May 7

The City of Winnipeg has chosen Veolia Canada over two other engineering firms to help conduct $661 million worth of upgrades to the city’s sewage-treatment plants.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for the update but…
    the Veolia deal still has too many unanswered questions:

    * How much is Winnipeg paying Veolia for their “expertise?”

    * City councilors and the public have not seen the full business case which justifies the numbers contained in the nine‐page summary. And council’s expected to vote on the secret deal on Wednesday.

    * How much will it cost if Winnipeg ever wants to get out of the 30 year contract?

    check out the Free Press article: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/editorials/the-devil-is-in-the-detail-93913779.html

  2. Thanks for the update but…
    the Veolia deal still has too many unanswered questions:

    * How much is Winnipeg paying Veolia for their “expertise?”

    * City councilors and the public have not seen the full business case which justifies the numbers contained in the nine‐page summary. And council’s expected to vote on the secret deal on Wednesday.

    * How much will it cost if Winnipeg ever wants to get out of the 30 year contract?

    check out the Free Press article: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/editorials/the-devil-is-in-the-detail-93913779.html

  3. You make some interesting points, Doug. However, the link you’ve referenced is an editorial, which is bound in opinion, not an article which (ideally) is factual. I doubt that your city’s councillors are being made to make a decision “on trust alone” — it seems unusual (and undemocratic) that the terms of a contract that big would be kept tightly hidden in a government setting that is meant to be transparent.

    I do, however, agree with the author’s last few statements: “Under these circumstances, the city should do two things. First, it should ask Veolia to agree to release more details about the deal. And second, Mayor Sam Katz should hold a seminar on the contract for councillors so that everyone has the best possible understanding of this pivotal agreement.”

    Additionally, it would be helpful for Mayor Katz to hold a public consultation. The public should be pivotal in water management decisions, especially when it is public funding that will pay for a project.

  4. You make some interesting points, Doug. However, the link you’ve referenced is an editorial, which is bound in opinion, not an article which (ideally) is factual. I doubt that your city’s councillors are being made to make a decision “on trust alone” — it seems unusual (and undemocratic) that the terms of a contract that big would be kept tightly hidden in a government setting that is meant to be transparent.

    I do, however, agree with the author’s last few statements: “Under these circumstances, the city should do two things. First, it should ask Veolia to agree to release more details about the deal. And second, Mayor Sam Katz should hold a seminar on the contract for councillors so that everyone has the best possible understanding of this pivotal agreement.”

    Additionally, it would be helpful for Mayor Katz to hold a public consultation. The public should be pivotal in water management decisions, especially when it is public funding that will pay for a project.

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