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Sewage plant transfer to Epcor could violate free trade agreements

January 20, 2009

The Edmonton Journal reports today on a legal opinion prepared by Steven Shrybman for the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which suggests that the proposed transfer of Edmonton’s Gold Bar sewage plant to Epcor leaves the city open to a complaint under various free trade agreements.

The Journal quotes Steven as saying: “Governments are not supposed to favour one company over another and by doing so unbalance the level playing field that free-trade agreements essentially exist to create … This sale favours Epcor for the purpose of giving it a competitive advantage … the city didn’t even consider these risks.”

Steven told reporters that the company might run into challenges from competitors as it bids on contracts in other parts of Canada and the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement or the British Columbia-Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement.

Steven was scheduled to speak on the issue this morning during a public hearing in Edmonton council chambers.


Steven Shrybman