Troubled Waters

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Veolia Water touts its sewage agreement with Winnipeg as a model for other communities. But Elizabeth Brubaker argues in the National Post that it would be a bad model, as it merely provides for "expert advice" on the design, construction and operation of Winnipeg’s sewage-treatment facilities. It brings no private investment, limits incentives and opportunities for savings, and blurs lines of accountability regarding costs and performance. Continue reading

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Public-private fight focus of sewage debate

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Opinions are mixed regarding the choice to publicly or privately run Halifax’s new sewage treatment plants.  Several competitors are vying for the rights to build the $316 million project, and the Halifax Council has prepared a list of three potential companies while the debate heats up on what types of effects privatization would have on cost, quality and accountability.

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What Margaret Thatcher never said about water

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To refute my article describing the benefits of privatizing water and sewage utilities, Toronto union leader Brian Cochrane cited devastating criticisms from unlikely sources(Letters, March 9). Mr. Cochrane told your readers that former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher called water privatization her "one mistake," and that an editorial in the Financial Times of London called the privatization "a rip-off, a steal, a plunder, a legalised mugging, piracy, licensed theft, a diabolical liberty, a huge scam, a cheat, a snatch, and a swindle."

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Privatizing Water Supply and Sewage Treatment: How Far Should We Go?

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This paper, published in Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, was prepared for Property Rights, Economics & Environment: Water Resources, an international conference organised by the Centre d’Analyse Economique and the International Center for Research on Environmental Issues in 1998. In the paper, Elizabeth Brubaker compares four approaches to the privatization and regulation of water and sewage utilities and explores the environmental implications of each approach.

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Bring back our beaches

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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.

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Municipal Wastewater Pollution in British Columbia

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This report by Martin Nantel examines the environmental damage caused by the discharge of treated and untreated sewage into B.C. waters, paying special attention to the threats posed to the Fraser River salmon. It also addresses governments’ failure to enforce the legislation intended to regulate sewage treatment plants and recommends a number of measures to alleviate sewage pollution in the province. Continue reading

Sewage Treatment and Disposal in Quebec: Environmental Effects

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Martin Nantel reviews the rules and agreements regulating municipal sewage treatment in Québec and demonstrates how unaccountable governments plagued by conflicts of interest fail to enforce their own laws. The report ends with a series of recommendations that would alleviate sewage pollution in the province. Continue reading

Making the Oceans Safe for Fish: How Property Rights Can Reverse the Destruction of the Atlantic Fisheries

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This excerpt from Property Rights in the Defence of Nature reprinted by the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, describes the ways in which fisheries owners have used their property rights to protect fish and habitats.

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