Responding to the Crisis: Strengthening Regulation Through Privatization

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A presentation to the Safe and Clean Drinking Water Strategies Conference, held in Toronto, Ontario, on July 10, 2001.
 

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The real agenda in Walkerton

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Ontario Premier Mike Harris survived his appearance yesterday before the Walkerton inquiry. More than survived: He triumphed. Facing an orchestrated ambush by smirking union lawyers, hired activists and placard-carrying demonstrators, Mr. Harris rose so far above the low politically motivated smears of his prosecutors that many citizens of Ontario must now be wondering about the validity of the Harris caricature they have been fed for most of the past year.

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Reducing Risk By Creating Accountability

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Energy Probe Research Foundation’s submission to the Walkerton Inquiry’s Expert Meeting on Guiding Principles for Drinking Water Safety explores the critical role played by legal liability in risk management.

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A bad water selloff may leave us all wet

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If the privatization of water and sewage in Ontario is anything like the British experience, Ontario residents are in for a rocky ride. The end destination will be better water quality and sounder infrastructure. But getting there will be both painful and costly to consumers. Ontario can learn from Britain’s mistakes.

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Toronto water fight

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Toronto faces a motion to reject the idea of privatizing its water and sewage systems. Worldwide experience shows that could be a mistake.

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Toronto Needs the Water Privatization Option

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Next Tuesday, Toronto City Council will vote on a recommendation that it rule out the privatization of water supply or sewage treatment in the city. This ill-considered recommendation reflects union poli­tics rather than a reasoned analysis of the merits of private sector involvement. If councillors approve it, they will prevent the city from capturing tremendous economic and environmental benefits.

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Making privatization work for the environment

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Canada’s sewage system is a disgrace. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians dump their sewage, untreated, into our coastal waters. Over a million more contaminate our lakes and rivers with raw sewage. Sewage treatment plants, in desperate need of repair and upgrading, regularly violate provincial and federal laws. In Nova Scotia and British Columbia, non-complying plants are the norm. Six dozen plants in Ontario, and over four dozen in Quebec, exceed their discharge limits. Across the country, sewage pollution contaminates beaches and harbours, puts shellfish grounds off limits to harvesters, and kills fish.

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Without Obstruction, Diversion or Corruption: The Power of Property Rights to Preserve Our Lakes and Rivers

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A presentation to the Fraser Institute Student Seminar on Public Policy Issues, in Toronto, Ontario, on November 4, 1995.
 

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Curbing sewage pollution

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Before world leaders gathered in Halifax for June’s G-7 summit, organizers fretted over an embarrassing problem: one of the city’s sewage pipes emptied just outside the meeting site, spewing raw sewage into the otherwise scenic harbour. Worried that foreign dignitaries and journalists would smell sewage and spot floating condoms, tampon applicators and toilet paper, politicians devised a plan. Their proposal? To extend a submerged pipe into the harbour, improving the view and sparing the visitors’ noses. The federal government ended up scrapping the plan, but not because merely hiding the sewage wouldn’t solve the problem. On the contrary, it simply deemed the $1 million project too expensive.

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