Defeating P3s at the ballot box in Comox Valley

Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees, November 21, 2016

Residents of Union Bay, Royston and Kilmarnock also said no to privatized wastewater treatment in a referendum held this past June. An overwhelming majority of voters (75 per cent) turned down a proposed P3 that would have seen the Comox Valley Regional District sign a 30-year contract with an unknown private for-profit corporation. After learning that a referendum would be taking place, CUPE 556 members quickly mounted a campaign asking residents to support “affordable, accountable, public sewage”. The local worked with CUPE National staff in developing a campaign that focused on educating voters about the risks of P3s. … Smaller communities have also been successful in contracting in work. During the fall of 2015, Revelstoke was able to keep garbage collection services in house by proposing several alternate options to the status quo.  And in April CUPE 608, representing employees of the Town of Osoyoos, was able to successfully contract in work providing janitorial services for summer washrooms and other civic facilities. The Town decided to explore other options than the contractor they were using at the time after an incident in which the contractor left the washrooms unlocked overnight, resulting in damage to City property. …