Sewage ‘quick fix’ not the answer

Sydney built an opera house on its harbour. Why do we want to put a sewage treatment plant on the entrance to ours?

Sydney built an opera house on its harbour. Why do we want to put a sewage treatment plant on the entrance to ours?

In its rush to secure federal and provincial money, the Capital Regional District is planning to build the region’s sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point across from the cruise ship terminal and adjacent to the West Bay Walkway and Marina.

Although at first look it would be a fast fix for the city’s sewage problem, is it really the legacy that we want to leave the city and our provincial capital? Will cruise ship passengers be as eager to return? Will odours occasionally escape and waffle over the B.C. legislature and downtown area? Seagull droppings may be a small problem by comparison.

Why do we spend so much money and effort to beautify the Inner Harbour and reclaim the Rock Bay area but so easily give away the amazing potential of McLoughlin Point?

Sewage treatment is an important environmental issue that needs to be addressed but is McLoughlin Point the best choice? At a cost of almost $1 billion, a sewage treatment plant has the potential of being either an extreme benefit or an extreme disaster.  A flawed sewage plant would be harder to dispose of than a flawed fast ferry.

Do we want to trust the sewage committee’s fast fix? Aren’t there other possible sites? Shouldn’t the citizens who will ultimately pay for the project have a say? Can’t we save both the fish and the harbour?

Norma Brown, Esquimalt