Our View: Sewage forum comes too late

Last week, a group of concerned citizens hosted a meeting to discuss plans for creating sewage treatment in Greater Victoria.

Spearheaded by residents from Esquimalt, where the main treatment plant will be located, the event drew about 100 people from both sides of the treatment fence. Members of ARESST (Association for Responsible and Environmentally Sustainable Sewage Treatment), who have argued against the need for the level of treatment ordered by the province, were prominent.

We needed such a meeting more than four years ago, when the government dropped the hammer and ordered the Capital Regional District to get going on sewage treatment.

At that time, there might have been enough backlash to force the province to take a more serious look at not only the cost implications to taxpayers, but the impact of pumping sewage out into Juan de Fuca Strait.

Since then, the CRD’s liquid waste management committee and environment department staffers have focused on securing land for a treatment plant and developing a plan for the operational infrastructure. Millions of dollars have already been spent.

We respect the efforts of the forum organizers. In fact, we supported a team of scientists and consultants who, in October 2007, argued that polluted storm water, not sewage, is more harmful to the marine environment. Bringing up similar arguments today will fall on deaf ears. The ball started rolling a long time ago and it isn’t about to stop.

Some folks may believe having a new premier and a new environment minister (ex-Kamloops mayor Terry Lake) presents a window of opportunity to beat the drum again to convince the public that the brakes can still be put on.

But too much black water has run through the pipes. The most pressing need today is to work with the CRD to ensure the level of treatment and the facilities that are built are appropriate for now and in the future, so we don’t have to go through another long, drawn-out exercise.

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

Just Posted

VIDEO: Neighbours help Sidney woman mark 103rd birthday with surprise parade

Barbara Chorlton celebrates her ‘best birthday so far’

Racism is here too, say Victoria’s black community leaders

White Victorians have role to play in combatting systems of oppression, prejudice

Shortage of foreign workers costs Saanich Peninsula berry farmer thousands

Gobind Farms says hiring local has been difficult during pandemic

Pedestrian, cycling overpass now open at McKenzie Interchange

Bridge connects Portage Road, Galloping Goose Regional Trail

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Most Read