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LETTER: Stormwater management should be a priority

In its push to promote a challenged official community plan process and affordable housing, our municipal council has distracted the attention of North Saanich residents away from more pressing and immediate concerns that have become all too obvious over the course of the last few weeks: the management of excessive stormwater on our roads and in our neighbourhoods.

Weather changes, as a direct result of climate change, have hit our community hard and I am certain many of us know about or have experienced flooding in our homes, roads and public trails. While these concerns may appear to be the exception, they are about to become all too common and our community needs to respond.

Stormwater management, while unlikely to attract the attention of the average voter, is the most critical part of municipal infrastructure. In North Saanich, the impact of system failure is magnified by the potential for solid waste contamination due (in part) to the extensive use of residential septic fields as our primary waste management systems. When combined with the likelihood that many of our stormwater distribution networks are both undersized and nearing the end of their practical lifespan, immediate action is necessary.

In early 2022, North Saanich will publish the results of its engagement process on the new drainage master plan and Tseycum Creek stormwater management plan. I encourage all North Saanich residents to read the results of the engagement process and respond on both its proposed implementation timing and content. While many may argue to the contrary, it’s time to set other objectives aside as there is no greater priority in our community.

Mike Houle

North Saanich

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