Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Taking government secrecy to a new level

As you probably know, Winnipeg's esteemed mayor and his buddies on EPC are trying to get city council to agree to a wastewater treatment contract with Veolia Canada. Now it's pretty common for a government to keep the fine print of such contracts a secret from the public. This isn't good enough for Katz and his cronies, though; they're keeping it secret from themselves:

It's a deal so secret not even the mayor has seen the financial fine print.

It locks city hall into a 30-year contract with a multinational mega-firm and marks a big shift in policy.

Now critics from the left and the right are calling on councillors to step back from the brink of a $1.2-billion deal with Veolia Canada to privatize the renovation and parts of the operation of two city sewage treatment plants.

Council votes on the deal Wednesday.

"The partnership proposes to reduce rates and improve results for taxpayers so that's a good thing," said Colin Craig of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. "However, councillors should ask to see the final contract before it's approved. Like they say, the devil is in the details."

Craig said as much of the deal should also be made public as possible without violating Veolia's business interests.

Several left-leaning groups -- the Council of Canadians, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the union representing city workers -- agree, saying Veolia's reputation is "less than stellar" and serious questions about the contract remain unanswered.

From the Free Press. When the CTF agrees with the Council of Canadians and the CCPA, you know there must be something badly wrong somewhere...

No comments: