Regina needs a new wastewater treatment plant. In order to get federal funding ($58m) the City had to agree to build the plant using a Public-Private-Partnership. They did. A private sector-company is slated to borrow the funds to finance a new treatment plant along with the city and federal (maybe provincial, too) government. To pay the company back for its share of the financing the city will pay it (we don't know how much, its confidential) to operate and maintain the city-owned facility for 30 years.
Taking advantage of Saskatchewan's referndum laws a union-back group called Regina Water Watch (http://reginawaterwatch.nationbuilder.com/) started collecting signatures from people opposing the P3 deal. Once it became clear the group would easily get the required number of signatures (10% population measured in most recent census which was 193,010) the City tried to get the Minister of Local Government to increase the threashold by to 10% of the number of health cards in the city - 207,500, but he declined. It didn't matter because RWW got over 24,000 signatures. However, the City Clerk then had to vett those numbers. Thousands of signatures were declared invald because they did not have the year (2013) even though the petition was only out during 2013. The clerk decared the petition insuficient.
Amid criticism the mayor introduced a motion to hold the refendum anyways. It was adopted unanomously. The vote is scheduled for late September and the City is in full campaign mode. Over $300,000 of taxpayer money is being spent on a campaign to vote 'NO' to a publicly financed, operated, and maintained wastewater treatment plant (http://www.regina.ca/residents/sewage-treatment-plant/overview.html)
What are your thought? Should public money and resources be used in this referendum?