Sooke mayor defends planned sewage-sludge facilities tour of Europe

It’s a ‘significant project for the region,’ says Maja Tait

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait is defending a planned tour of European sewage and biosolid processing plants in Europe.

“We’ll see first hand what’s involved, how they operate – even if they omit an odor,” said Tait, chairwoman of the Capital Regional District’s Integrated Resource Management Advisory Committee.

The committee approved the trip, which could also include stops in North America. A final vote on whether the trip goes ahead will go before the CRD board on Wednesday (Sept. 13).

Critics says there’s little value in such a trip. The tour is intended to help directors decide on a method of treating sludge coming from the region’s $765-million sewage-treatment project.

“We could use our time and money for better uses,” said Mike Hicks, electoral area director for the Juan de Fuca.

“Integrated means more than one, so why are we going to a single-source facility in [Europe]? I think they’re hurrying it, and for that reason I voted no,” Hicks said.

Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell also doesn’t like the idea of a European tour.

“I spoke out against it and I thought it was a poor use of taxpayers’ money,” said Atwell. The trip also promises to offer few beneficial insights, because it will examine plants that will hold few if any lessons for the Capital Regional District. “I don’t think it’s objective,” said Atwell.

RELATED: Saanich mayor attacks planned sewage tour of Europe

But Tait said it’s important that both staff and policy makers make an informed decision on dealing with sludge processing.

Tait used the analogy of buying a house. You wouldn’t buy a house online or from a document without looking at it first.

If the CRD board approves the trip, five people will go, which includes three politicians, most likely Tait, CRD chairwoman Barb Desjardins and Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton.

The trip will include locations in Germany, Spain, Belgium and France and would cost $8,500 per person.

Just Posted

Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations open new RV Park

Both nations excited about new economic venture

Parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

UPDATE: Victoria hosts first National Cannabis Conference

Vendors, shoppers and cannabis-curious folk head to the Victoria Conference Centre

Victoria High School students find themselves in a ‘Hairy’ situation

Vic High drama students performing modern version of Broadway musical ‘Hair’

Ready for day two at the Home Expo

One exhibitor, Atlas Junk Removal, uses their trucks for a good cause

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

Dinosaurs taking centre stage at National Geographic event

NatGeo Live series finale May 2 at the Royal features renowned paleontologist

UPDATED: 1 person dead after highway crash in Nanoose Bay

Accident happened just before 4 p.m. near Hillview Road

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Most Read