EDITORIAL: Venting session comes too late

Esquimalt's public hearing for the rezoning of McLoughlin Point for a sewage plant needed to happen before the CRD chose it

Esquimalt council faces a tough decision in the next few weeks, that of rezoning lands targeted for a sewage treatment plant.

Ahead of that decision, residents of the small municipality will gather in great numbers at a hockey arena more often used to host lacrosse games in early summer than citizen forums.

A public hearing will give council members a chance to hear what their constituents really think, among other things, about a) putting the main treatment plant at McLoughlin Point, b) what kinds of uses are appropriate for the land and c) whether rejecting the Capital Regional District’s rezoning application will send the project back to the drawing board or simply force the hand of God (the province) to order rezoning.

It’s not as if Esquimalt’s elected officials don’t already know how their residents feel. If they didn’t feel dumped on enough by the CRD’s choice of McLoughlin Point for the main plant, the prospect of a biosolids centre on Viewfield Road got their blood boiling – even if that issue is not up for discussion at the public hearing.

Esquimalt Residents’ Association co-chair Nick Kovacs says the CRD has done a poor job convincing people they have any say in the matter.

As such, he says, people look at sewage treatment like the way the HST was forced on the province by the B.C. Liberal government.

The CRD has already spent in excess of $20 million in the planning stages for the provincially mandated project and appointed an independent sewage commission to oversee project design and construction, not to mention pencilled in early July for a start on building at McLoughlin Point. It has little appetite to look at other options if Esquimalt says no.

By mistakenly assuming the township would fall in step with the project timeline, the CRD has painted itself into a corner and could be forced to ask the province to do the dirty work of forcing Esquimalt to rezone.

Such a scenario would see the voices of Esquimalt people, the most affected by this project, effectively ignored, as many of them feel they largely have been all along.

Just Posted

Greater Victoria enjoys sunny first day of spring

Summer-like temperatures of 21 degrees hit Wednesday for first day of spring

Esquimalt puts freeze on taxes for local businesses

The tax increase for residents sits at 5.51 per cent, averaging to an additional $46

Bitter Saturna land-use dispute highlights legal grey areas

Unhappy Tsawout accuse leadership of cultural destruction

Development replacing Fairfield United Church gets final approval

The new Unity Commons Development will take over the space at 1303 Fairfield Rd.

Saanich forwards student-targeted development to public hearing

Proposed development advertises itself to individuals who want a car-free lifestyle

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

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

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

Volunteer green team joins forces to restore local habitats

Partnerships with schools educate and facilitate remediations

Most Read