I list seven reasons, any one of which should be enough to discredit the idea that Victoria needs a land-based sewage treatment plant.
• A 1984 Royal Commission, examining this exact issue, stated that comparing treatment with long outfalls the latter “could be environmentally preferable where conditions were suitable.” Our conditions are ideal.
• A motion put before the U.S. Congress to require all sea discharges to have secondary treatment was defeated in light of evidence to the contrary.
• Those who know best are the medical health officers, the biologists and oceanographers who have been monitoring the outfalls for a generation. Not one believes we should be building such a plant.
• The environment minister’s order to build a plant followed immediately after a report by a U.S. firm that had been retained by the Capital Regional District, but the report conclusions did not specifically recommend such a plant be built.
• A glance at a map shows all the waste from Greater Vancouver flowing out under Lions Gate Bridge or into the Fraser River, joined by the even greater flow from Everett and Greater Seattle and then past our front door, the relative impact of which is patently negligible.
• The impact of our sewage is negligible but the environmental health and safety impact of building and operating the plant would be substantial. Pollution has been ignored; fuel use has been ignored.
• We would rob other needs of upwards of a billion dollars. That alone would be an unforgivable step backwards.
I have been involved in this issue for half my life and it is patent that most politicians do not have the educational background to form sensible judgments on the issue.