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PRIVATIZATION

Privatization & Commercialization of Water in Canada

In North America, privatizing watercan involve transferring full control of water supply networks into the hands of private corporations by fully divesting assets through public flotation (i.e. when common stocks or shares are offered to the public), through direct sales, or through private-public-partnership (P3). Increasing private sector involvement in water supply networks all over the world has been accompanied by a rise in the application of commercial principles to water systems. This commercialization of water means private sector norms which center on profit- making and maximized efficiency are emphasized. While traditional government-run water utilities often subsidize prices for consumers in hopes of attaining social equity, many private and publicly owned water systems today are choosing to adopt this commercial approach to water pricing.

Most research shows that when governments decide to enter into partnerships with the private sector for the provision of drinking water, it results in detrimental public health effects, and that women are particularly likely to be adversely affected. The cost and availability of water has implications for women in Canada, both in terms of their own personal health, and because women are very often primary caretakers, responsible for caring for the structural and health needs of their families and community