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P3: Water Watch voices opposition

The City of Abbotsford’s P3 water proposal has received steady criticism from at least one citizens’ group.

Water Watch Mission-Abbotsford has been vocal in its protest of any private company involvement in a resource as important as water.

The group’s slogan is “Water for Life – Not for Profit,” and it has been steadily campaigning for a no vote in the coming referendum.

Water Watch is opposed to what they call “the privatization of water,” quoting an Environics national poll which indicated 87 per cent of Canadians “think our drinking water is a precious natural resource that should remain public and be protected from private corporate interest.”

Lynn Perrin, spokesperson for Water Watch, doesn’t agree with the city’s claim that a new water system has to be ready by 2016.

She points to a 2009 report presented to the Abbotsford-Mission Water and Sewer Commission, stating the current water supply is sufficient – as long as conservation measures take place – until 2031.

“There are so many questions that have not been answered,” said Perrin during the city’s launch of an awareness campaign held last week.

She said there is plenty of time to consider other options, including future federal funding possibilities that do not involve P3.

Perrin expresses the group’s prime conce rn on the Water Watch website (www.waterwatchma.ca).

“Our number one priority is that water must remain a right – not a commodity. The adequate supply of water for all Abbotsford residents must not be tied to giving away control of our most precious resource.”

Tonight, Water Watch, in conjunction with the Council of Canadians and CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) is hosting a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. at the University of the Fraser Valley.

Council of Canadians National chairperson Maude Barlow, CUPE national president Paul Moist, and Perrin will speak on water privatization and the risks they feel are involved.

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