Manitoba

Advocacy group demands details of city water deal

The Council of Canadians has filed a complaint with Manitoba's Ombudsman over a controversial deal the city of Winnipeg has made with contractor Veolia Canada to manage wastewater.



There are calls for public disclosure of the $660 million contract to upgrade Winnipeg's wastewater plants. ((James Turner/CBC))
The Council of Canadians has filed a complaint with Manitoba's Ombudsman over a  controversial deal the City of Winnipeg has made with contractor Veolia Canada to manage wastewater.

The public advocacy group wants to make the Veolia contract, estimated to be worth more than a billion dollars, a civic election issue.

In May, city council approved a 30 year contract with Veolia, worth $660 million, to design, build and help manage two waste-water plants. Other components of the deal could bring its total value to $1.2 billion. In a nine to four vote, Councillors gave the nod to Veolia to help upgrade and manage the facilities located at the north and south ends of Winnipeg.

But details of the agreement have been kept secret — even from city councillors.

Mayor Sam Katz has refused to release details of the arrangement citing business confidentiality but has said the deal will ultimately save taxpayers money.

While the Council of Canadians filed its complaint last month, the public interest group said it wants to draw attention to the issue during the civic election campaign.

 

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