Canada is facing an enormous municipal infrastructure deficit, estimated at around $130 billion dollars, to upgrade and expand everything from water and wastewater systems, to roads, bridges and other vital infrastructure.
In the 1960s, the federal government funded about 25% of municipal infrastructure, with provincial governments helping with about 40% and the remainder borne by the municipality.
Today, PM Harper's government is telling us there is no money to support municipal infrastructure, with the exception of about $1 billion in a new agency created in 2009, PPP Canada, that requires municipalities to "partner" with corporations to finance and or deliver public infrastrucutre and services for a profit.
Communities, like Abbotsford, B.C., who have voted by almost 75% against a proposed P3 (public-private partnership) water project and to keep their water in public hands are being told by Conservative MP Ed Fast that the $65 million promised by the federal goverment for the project is not accessible for communities that choose to keep their water in public hands.
This P3 funding string or condition amounts to a "forced privatization", against the wishes of local governments and/or Canadians in communities across Canada.
B.C. residents have rejected P3 water and wastewater projects in numerous cities including Vancouver, Kamploops, Capital Regional District, Whistler, Mission and most recently in Abbotsford. This is consistent with the "Canadian way", which is to keep such vital services in public hands.
Abbotsford has joined the lobby to urge the federal government to cut P3 strings from federal infrastructure funding and we ask that you join in too.
Send a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper today.