The first anniversary of the Walkerton, Ont., water tragedy is approaching. Already the professional groundskeepers of public opinion are raking the town for the official laying of the blame ceremonies. They appear to have narrowed it down to two culprits, the Harris cutbacks and privatization. Despite overwhelming evidence that Walkerton is the product of gross inadequacies inherent in public sector ownership and major instances of individual public employee incompetence, opinion nevertheless appears to have gelled around the cheap political conclusions.
Although new to much of the globe, the water and wastewater privatizations of the last 10 years built on a centuries-old tradition of private ownership and management in several western countries.
An examination of the elements contributing to one privatization’s economic, environmental, and labour-relations successes.
As Halifax considers a private-sector solution to its sewage problem, Elizabeth Brubaker debunks critics’ claims that water privatization is a failure.
In her Aug. 5 article “Private operator best for Halifax system,” Elizabeth Brubaker gives CUPE a failing grade, claiming we did not do our homework; yet she has presented no facts to back up her position, a position which appears to be based solely upon ideology.
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."
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.