Public Values

Canadians want public water services

Governments should fund infrastructure projects and protect water from private corporate interests &8212 poll.

Moist: Drinking water too important to risk putting in the hands of private, for-profit corporationsJune 2, 2011: Most Canadians — 74 percent — trust the public sector to provide drinking water and waste treatment services. Eighty-seven percent say Canada's drinking water is a precious natural resource that should remain public and be protected from private corporate interests, according to a new poll released today by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

"Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast put a great deal of trust in public sector workers to deliver safe drinking water," says CUPE National President Paul Moist. "Almost everyone agrees our drinking water is too important to risk putting it in the hands of private, for-profit corporations."

The poll, conducted by Environics Research Group on behalf of CUPE, also shows most Canadians say the federal government must take more responsibility in protecting and maintaining public drinking water and waste treatment systems.

  "It's time for the federal government to provide more resources to our municipalities."

More than nine in ten Canadians say federal government should help municipalities to pay for federally-mandated upgrades to drinking water and waste treatment systems. Close to the same number of Canadians — 89 percent — say federal and provincial governments should be increasing their contributions to improving municipal infrastructure, such as water and waste water systems.

"Canadians recognize the good job our municipal governments and municipal public services are doing in providing services we depend on every day," says Moist. "Canadians agree it's time for the federal government to provide more resources to our municipalities."

The poll also shows considerable support among Canadians for maintaining current levels of municipal services even if it required increase in taxes or user fees. Fifty-nine percent surveyed say they would accept increases, while only one-third say they would rather see significant cuts to services in order to keep current tax rates.

The poll surveyed 1,000 Canadians, May 12 -16, 2011. It has a margin of error of 3.1 percent, 19 times out of 20. Detailed results and survey questions are available at

Links and sources
  Three quarters of Canadians want drinking water to remain in public hands

Posted: June 28, 2011

  Public services
  Natural resources

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