Outsourcing: What Makes a Private Water Contract Work?

Gallery

For this article in Municipal Water and Sewer Magazine, Peter Kenter interviewed three proponents of private water services, including Environment Probe’s Elizabeth Brubaker, about the features of a well-designed contract. Continue reading

Advertisements

Corrupt water

Gallery

Last week’s boil-water advisory in Montreal called attention to a system plagued by under-investment, poor repair, and shaky management. Would privatization – under strict regulation – create a more effective and efficient system? Continue reading

Can public utilities be accountable?

Gallery

Manitoba regulators have charged Winnipeg for polluting the Red River and for failing to report the pollution. In explaining the decision to prosecute, the province cited the need for accountability. But if the city can pass fines along to taxpayers or water customers, is it really accountable for its errors? Continue reading

Don’t bottle 13-year-old’s water wisdom

Gallery

Adapted from the guest blog below, this op-ed in the National Post throws cold water on the Council of Canadians’ Blue Communities campaign. Essie Solomon argues that municipalities would be ill-advised to ban bottled water sales, reject privately funded and operated water systems, and deem water a human right. Continue reading

The flawed logic behind Blue Communities

Gallery

In this guest blog, Essie Solomon argues that municipalities that become Blue Communities do a disservice to their residents and the environment. Continue reading

Debunking the myth of public-sector accountability

Gallery

Those who advocate purely public water and sewage utilities warn that private financing and operation impede transparency, diminish accountability, and undermine government regulation. They have it backwards: Public utilities have repeatedly shown themselves to be un-transparent and un-accountable. Continue reading

Privatizing water services

Gallery

CBC Radio’s “The Current” turns its attention to privatizing water and sewage services, engaging Environment Probe’s Elizabeth Brubaker and several others in a lively discussion about what greater private-sector involvement could mean for Canada. Continue reading

The Privatization of City Services

Gallery

BNN’s “Headline” features a discussion of the privatization of city services, including water and sewage. Environment Probe’s Elizabeth Brubaker, CUPE’s Paul Moist, and Ontario Waste Management Association’s Rob Cook debate the merits of privatization. Continue reading

Responding to the Crisis: Strengthening Regulation Through Privatization

Gallery

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

Continue reading

The real agenda in Walkerton

Gallery

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.

Continue reading

The Promise of Privatization

Gallery

This study, prepared for the Walkerton Inquiry, examines the privatization of water and wastewater utilities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. It reveals that privatization has brought investment, expertise, innovation, efficiency, and accountability to water and wastewater utilities, improving their performance and their compliance with health and environmental standards.

Continue reading

Can high profit flow with safe water?

Gallery

Mike Price is happy to take on all comers if the province opens the door to privatization of Toronto’s water and sewer service.

Continue reading

Walkerton: Government’s three deadly mistakes

Gallery

Three fatal errors by Ontario’s government led to the Walkerton water tragedy that has left at least five dead and more than 1,000 infected over the past week. The government failed to prevent the pollution of the water supply. It failed to prevent the distribution of polluted water. And it failed to recognize that the private sector can handle municipal water supply more competently and safely than the public sector.

Continue reading

NDP warns against P3 sewage treatment plants

Gallery

The New Democrats are cautioning Halifax regional council about pitfalls private ownership could pose for the city’s planned sewage-treatment plants.

Continue reading

Private operator best for Halifax system

Gallery

Earlier this year, CUPE national President Judy Darcy proclaimed that the "proposed privatization of new water treatment facilities in Halifax gets a big ‘F’."

Continue reading

The Common Law and the Environment: The Canadian Experience

Gallery

A chapter from Who Owns the Environment?, a collection of essays edited by Peter Hill and Roger Meiners exploring the theory that environmental concerns are essentially property rights issues. In this chapter, Elizabeth Brubaker reviews the ancient roots of contemporary property rights and traces their evolution in Canada. She describes the ways in which concerned citizens have used their property rights to clean up and to prevent pollution. She then chronicles successive governments’ efforts to replace the common law with statutes and regulations governing the environment. Lastly, she recommends restoring strong property rights in order to return control over environmental degradation to those most directly affected by it.

Continue reading

Bring back our beaches

Gallery

This article, from The Next City, reviews the inadequate sewage treatment processes and the regulatory failures that have led to the closing of beaches across Canada. It documents the environmental benefits arising from the privatization of sewage treatment in England and Wales and examines the institutional changes responsible. It concludes that privatization, if done right, could clean up our beaches.

Continue reading

Making privatization work for the environment

Gallery

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.

Continue reading

Property Rights in the Defence of Nature: Book Review, Saskatchewan Law Review

Gallery

This book focuses on the power inherent in common law trespass, nuisance and riparian property rights as a means of enabling individuals to protect the environment. Brubaker indicates that the use of these rights as a means of environmental conservation has fallen into disuse as environmentalists concentrate more of their efforts on lobbying governments for increased regulations.

Continue reading

A Review of Literature on Economic Instruments Affecting Water and Wastewater Flows

Gallery

In response to Toronto’s proposal to expand its sewage treatment capacity, this paper examines the effects of marginal cost pricing, efficient rate structures, full metering, and privatization on wastewater flows and on the need for system expansion.

Continue reading