Victoria council mulls new sewage plan at Clover Point

Some councillors surprised to see Clover Point back in the plan

Some councillors with the City of Victoria are surprised to see Clover Point now pegged as one of the two possible sites for a sewage treatment plant.

But after a lengthy debate last week, the majority of councillors agreed to request a meeting between the CRD (Capital Regional District) and the Fairfield/Gonzales Community Association land-use committee (CALUC) to hear what the community has to say.

Mayor Lisa Helps, who is also the chair of the CRD’s Core Area Liquid Waste Advisory Committee (CALWAC), said the district needs an indication from the neighbourhood on whether they are willing to consider being part of the conversation for a facility at Clover Point.

Some councillors were hesitant to agree to anything since they hadn’t had a chance to digest the CRD’s new plan, but Helps assured the decision to go ahead with a community meeting does not set anything in stone.

“All our land use chair wants is the CRD to go and meet with them (CALUC) and have an initial conversation,” said Helps, noting Clover Point was once on the list of potential sites for a sewage facility when council put it forward as a suggestion.

“I think it is false that Clover Point has not been considered and in fact we have had a formal, very robust round of consultation to show that.”

Last week, the CRD selected McLoughlin Point and Clover Point as the two sites to explore building two secondary or tertiary sewage treatment plants, despite an estimated price tag of around $1 billion. The province has also now waded into the matter by offering to help the region find a solution and facilitate a way to move forward.

According to CRD staff, a sewage treatment plant at Clover Point would be constructed underground so it’s out of sight from the public just like the pump station currently there now. Construction would likely take a couple years, which raised concerns from Victoria councillors about public access during that time.

Coun. Geoff Young, who’s also a CALWAC director, is opposed to the idea and told his colleagues by voting for it, they are building a cage.

“I think that the impacts on the neighbourhood will be significant and I think we are going to have a lot of concern from neighbours,” said Young, adding the public also hasn’t had a chance to think about what’s now being proposed at Clover Point.

“This is not a simple motion, this is a motion that’s moving this council to this direction and I think it’s a very bad direction to go.”

The plan will also be submitted to Esquimalt council for discussion.

Nearly two years ago, Esquimalt council rejected a plan for a single site at McLoughlin, citing concerns with the environmental impact and size of the facility.

The township’s Mayor Barb Desjardins, however, is now in favour of exploring the new plan and hearing what the private sector has to offer.

“I am hearing from residents that, given the right circumstances, to reconsider. I think the fact that this is not a single site option is really important as part of that discussion,” she said, adding she’s still frustrated with how McLoughlin wound up back on the table after Esquimalt shut that door.

“It is not by the community bringing it forward, but by default of the CRD. It comes back as somewhat heavy handed again and that’s really not the way to go about the process.”

Both Helps and Desjardins will head to Ottawa at the end of the month to meet with federal ministers about the CRD’s plan for a sewage treatment facility.

 

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

Just Posted

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria says sale of the planned subdivision will increase the club’s ability to provide services and support. (Courtesy of Association for the Protection of Rural Metchosin)
Victoria Boys and Girls Club says youth would benefit from Metchosin land sale

Club says sale will guarantee supports and programs at time when demand high

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us – maybe

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend

Snow on Malahat to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

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 Jan. 19

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

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Most Read