MP Jonathan Wilkinson pleased with sewage recommendation

Jonathan Wilkinson had been keeping a close eye on what a panel of experts would ultimately recommend when it comes to sewage treatment.

Even though the final decision on where a wastewater treatment plant should be located lied in the hands of the Capital Regional District (CRD), Jonathan Wilkinson had been keeping a close eye on what a panel of experts would ultimately recommend.

And when the panel released its recommendation on Sept. 7, calling for a single 108 megalitre/day tertiary plant at McLoughlin Point at an estimated cost of $765 million, Wilkinson liked what he saw.

“Municipalities have a lot of flexibility in terms of what they do. The 2020 regulations require they meet a minimum set of thresholds. What is proposed is a little bit above the minimum requirement and we would be very supportive of that,” said Wilkinson, parliamentary secretary to the minister of environment and climate change, noting the sewage debate in Victoria has been raging longer than anywhere else in the country.

“These are very difficult decisions and they involve the expenditure of lots of money so it’s reasonable that municipalities have vigorous conversations to try to ensure they are arriving at an appropriate conclusion. The discussion has gone on for a long time and at a certain point you just need to make a decision and move on.”

The federal government is spending billions of dollars over the next several years in support of new national standards that are meant to crack down on raw sewage pumping into Canadian waterways. The new rules mandate secondary treatment of all sewage in municipalities across the country.

Victoria has been deemed a high-risk, therefore it must construct a facility by 2020.

Scientists, however, have long debated whether Greater Victoria truly needs to change its way of streamlining sewage into the ocean, arguing the outfalls pose no public health hazard and don’t seem to be having a negative impact on the marine life.

Some residents continue to question the need for a facility, but Wilkinson said jurisdictions across the country are facing the same requirements.

“We revisited the science and the federal government is comfortable that this is an appropriate step from an environmental perspective,” said Wilkinson, who spoke at a Chamber luncheon Tuesday afternoon.

“This has been a debate that’s been raging for a long time. At this stage we’d really like to see it move to a decision and ultimately move forward to the construction of a plant.”

In order to help the region move forward, the province waded into the matter in May, later establishing an independent panel of six experts to come up with a recommendation as to where a plant should be constructed.

After several hours of discussion on Wednesday, the CRD board approved the recommended business case for a single plant at McLoughlin Point.

The CRD now has until Sept. 30 to submit its plan to the federal government in order to receive more than $200 million in funding. If there is no proposal by the end of the month, Wilkinson said the funds will be allocated elsewhere since the CRD has already been granted two extensions.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

Patrol officers from VicPD’s Esquimalt division responded to a call about hateful graffiti in Macaulay Park Wednesday evening. (Black Press Media file photo)
Anti-Semitic, hate-based graffiti found in Esquimalt park

Police seek suspects after fresh hate-based graffiti found Wednesday evening

Artists, activists and supporters stand at the ‘More Justice, More Peace’ mural in Victoria’s Bastion Square after the letter ‘S’ was painted over in black. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
ACAB removed from Victoria’s More Justice, More Peace mural

New message points to VicPD, City of Victoria for silencing BIPOC voices

Samantha Lenz, resort manager for Oceanside RV Resort, says she continues to turn people away, who are looking for a permanent spot to winter on the Saanich Peninsula. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Tourism operators hope Canadian Snowbirds flock to B.C.

Provincial tourism industry hopes to compensate ‘monumental financial losses and hardship’

Victoria City Council approved two new affordable housing developments during its Oct. 22 council meeting. (Courtesy of Victoria City Council)
Victoria approves 72 new affordable housing units

Council approved new developments at 736 Princess Ave. and 330 Michigan St.

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Pilot Kevin Maher participated in a flyover of a ceremony at the Cobble Hill cenotaph on Oct. 22 in a 1940 North American (Noorduyn) Harvard aircraft. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cobble Hill remembers lost military members with ceremony, flyover

Annual event commemorates those who died in non-combat roles

Adam Ireton holds his son Weston, along with Kristen and Beckett as they celebrate Weston's last day of treatment for lukemia. (Kristen Ireton photo)
799 days: ‘Super’ Weston defeats cancer

‘Weston is disease-free now, so we will be going into a period of checkups and things until he’s 18’

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 27

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read