CRD bumps sewage debate to June 11 after McLoughlin Point axed

Esquimalt Mayor Desjardins says township breathed 'sigh of relief' after province refused to intervene on wastewater treatment facility

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins is breathing a sigh of relief after the township successfully denied the construction of a wastewater treatment plant at McLoughlin Point

Meetings that could decide the future of the Capital Regional District’s $788-million Seaterra program are being pushed back another week, as many directors are out of town or unable to make the original emergency June 4 discussion.

The CRD board and committee will now be meeting on June 11 at 625 Fisgard St. to discuss next steps after McLoughlin Point was definitively ruled out as a wastewater treatment site earlier this week. B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak refused to intervene and force through rezoning and development at the site, saying it’s up to the CRD to build consensus for a regional sewage plan.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins hailed Polak’s comments as a victory for the autonomy of local governments across B.C.

“The atmosphere in the community, and the region, is a huge sigh of relief,” Desjardins said. “People also are feeling like they participated in a public process and it made a difference. That’s a huge validation.”

Desjardins said Seaterra’s program management structure was designed for a plan that no longer exists, and the decision before CRD directors on June 11 will be to “resolve or dissolve” the current project.

“We really need to pull together and find a way forward from here,” she said. “But the minister made a very wise and responsible decision, as municipalities across the province would have otherwise been weighing in on the fact that their decisions could be overturned at anytime.”

dpalmer@vicnews.com

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