Inderscience Publishers

Walkerton: requiem for the New Public Management in Ontario?

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In May 2000, seven residents of Walkerton, Ontario, died, and hundreds more became seriously ill as a result of the contamination of the town's water supply. Immediately, residents and environmental activists pointed to the weakening of the province's environment ministry as the principal cause. Since coming to power in 1995, the Progressive Conservatives had taken steps to privatise and deregulate a number of public services, which are two policy instruments of the New Public Management (NPM). Drawing on the conclusions of the inquiry into the underlying causes of the water contamination, this article suggests that Walkerton is not the knock-out punch for NPM that many had predicted.

Keywords: E coli, factory farms, privatisation, water quality, Canada, water contamination, Walkerton

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