Our View: Waterway a gem worth managing

The Gorge Waterway has come a long way from the polluted backwater that it was perceived to be only a few decades ago.

Once a dumping ground for industry, the Gorge has been rehabilitated through the effort of hundreds of thousands of people who volunteered their time. There’s still work to do, of course, but this urban waterway is close to recapturing the kind of respect it enjoyed when it was the region’s playground more than 100 years ago.

That’s why it would be a shame if no one picked up the ball when the Capital Regional District cuts a position that is currently tasked with co-ordinating the “group of groups” working to enhance the Gorge.

The Gorge Waterway Initiative brings together diverse groups that all have a stake in the health of the waterway.

The problem is the CRD position is inappropriately funded by money targeted for liquid waste management. Clearly, the role has a broader mandate than sewage.

And while the Gorge has long been considered a regional treasure, a sensible solution would see the four municipalities that border the waterway find a way to retain the co-ordinator position.

Right now, the only municipal funds that go directly to improving the Gorge are those that involve maintaining the parks that border its shores.

The good news is that only a relatively small investment is needed to help maintain what has been a massive contribution from concerned citizens.

Over the years, volunteers from groups like the Gorge Waterway Action Society have spearheaded cleanups knowing that they were working with others who shared their vision.

The job is too big for any single group of volunteers and there is a real concern that without a co-ordinator the task at hand could prove overwhelming.

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

Just Posted

This photo of Cheryl-Lynn Townsin and her daughter, Lexi, is part of Townsin’s documentary, RARE HUMANS - Turning Hope into Action, her capstone project for her graduate degree from Royal Roads University. (Photo courtesy of Cheryl-Lynn Townsin)
Greater Victoria mother’s grief fuels documentary of ‘Turning Hope into Action’

Lexi, 6, died in 2019 from Blau Syndrome and is among the children documented

This dead fir tree is one of many in Mount Douglas Park. Nine dead trees will be removed from the Douglas Creek site starting March 8 to make way for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. (Photo courtesy Jason Clarke)
Nine dead, hazardous trees to be removed from Saanich park ahead of bridge construction

Felling begins March 8, minor trail interruptions expected in Mount Douglas Park

A survey by Statistics Canada finds Black Canadians earn less than non-visible minority Canadians despite having higher levels of education. (The Canadian Press file photo)
COVID-19 worsened unemployment picture for Black Canadians

Black Canadians also more likely to suffer other hardships

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read