An open letter to Mayor Peary:
I have listened to one of your telephone townhalls and found it highly informative. However, in my opinion, the questions were too selected/managed and one-sided and the answers staged and unconvincing. I find the arguments against P3 water delivery robust and compelling and plan to vote against the P3. I fear that your officials are giving you the information you want to hear and thus supporting your lead.
Can I vote against the P3 and still vote for you? That depends on whether you are on record as saying you will submit to the wishes of the referendum even if it goes against the P3. On the other hand, I prefer to vote for governments that make wise decisions rather than depending on the public to make them, as for example the unfortunate outcome of the HST referendum. Committing to follow a referendum is a kind of capitulation of leadership.
I can only vote for you if you promise to do the right thing and recognize that the implications of going to a P3 for a 30-year water delivery contract are far too grave – more serious even than potentially having to raise taxes or water and sewage rates to cover upgrading expenses.
Consider both the short- and long-term possibilities. What could go sideways in 30 years?
With a P3, we the public would give up too much control of water which is not just about business interests and development. Our very lives fundamentally depend on water. We feel safer with our water delivery in public hands rather than in the hands of a for-profit multinational company.
Historically, Abbotsford has not needed a P3. If Abbotsford cannot provide this infrastructure going forward, could municipalities across our region (or across B.C.) establish our own cooperative agency that can develop this infrastructure? Abbotsford could be a little more entrepreneurial in this regard and provide leadership to the strong public desire to keep water public.