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

Three suspicious fires in Saanich under investigation

Saanich Fire are currently investigating three suspicious spot-fires in Saanich’s Panama Flats… Continue reading

Victoria police find woman hiding replica handgun in purse

Officers used de-escalation training with woman in downtown alley

Saanich seals history with time capsule

Saanich will re-open time capsule in 2067

Short trip to car-free Sidney Spit offers camping, beaches, hikes

Sidney Spit is part of B.C.’s Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, a protected marine ecosystem

Heat warning issued for Vancouver Island

Temperatures expected to cool down later this week

VIDEO: Visual recap of Vancouver Island MusicFest

Walk Off The Earth, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie among highlights

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

Island wide crime spree leads to multiple charges against Cowichan Valley resident

Social Media and citizens of the North Island played a big role in solving the case.

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

B.C. teen meets Nicolas Cage

Filming mob movie in downtown Vernon, B.C.

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. MLAs choose new children’s watchdog

Jennifer Charlesworth has worked in government, social services

Most Read