January 5, 2011



Mark Kennedy, Andrew Mayeda and Amy Minsky,
Victoria Times Colonist
Postmedia News
January 4, 2011
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Prime Minister Stephen Harper has appointed Peter Kent to the key environment portfolio and brought recently elected MP Julian Fantino into the inner circle as a junior minister responsible for seniors.

Both MPs are from Toronto-area ridings and were a central part of a minor cabinet shuffle announced by Harper Tuesday.

The move likely represents an effort by Harper to showcase his cabinet talent from that region as the Conservatives hope to make a major breakthrough in Toronto ridings in the next election.

Kent, a former journalist and broadcaster for Global TV, is considered a strong communicator — a skill he will need to help sell the Conservative government's position on issues such as climate change.

Fantino, a former Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner, was recently elected a Conservative MP in a byelection in Vaughan. He is considered a rising star in Tory circles.

Only two other people were involved in the minor shuffle, which the Prime Minister's Office described as a "stay-the-course" plan to stick with a "competent team."

Diane Ablonczy, previously minister of state for seniors, replaces Kent as minister of state of foreign affairs (Americas). And Ted Menzies, previously parliamentary secretary to the finance minister, becomes minister of state for finance.

Both Ablonczy and Menzies are Alberta MPs.

Ablonczy is a veteran MP who has worked with the prime minister since they were both Reform MPs. Menzies is considered a hard-working and competent politician who, for instance, helped shepherd Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in talks with the provinces over pension reform.

All four ministers, joined by Harper, were sworn in by Gov.-Gen. David Johnston at a ceremony Tuesday afternoon at Rideau Hall.

In recent days, Harper had publicly dismissed suggestions the move would amount to a major change in his team. He said he is happy with how his ministers are performing and that he had no intention of conducting a sweeping overhaul of his 35-member cabinet.

"This fine tuning of the ministry will be consistent with our intention to stay the course, " said the prime minister in a statement released Tuesday. "This is a time for stability, not uncertainty."

Harper said that while his government's economic stimulus measures have created jobs and economic growth, the global recovery is "fragile."

"That is why the economy remains the No. 1 priority for Canadians, and must remain the No. 1 priority for our government."

Harper said Kent will be tasked with "advancing efforts to "protect Canada's environment and address climate change at home and abroad."

Ablonczy will promote Canada's political and trade interests in the Americas and help protect Canadians travelling and working outside the country, he said.

As minister of state for seniors, Fantino "will work towards ensuring the well-being of Canadian seniors and promote the sharing of their skills, knowledge and experience in their communities," said the prime minister.

And he said Menzies will help provide "economic stability and financial security" for Canadians.

The shuffle comes just months before a possible spring election, giving Harper a chance to put some fresh faces into the front benches.

The need for a cabinet shuffle was sparked by the surprise resignation in November of then-environment minister Jim Prentice. House leader John Baird filled in as interim environment minister and represented Canada at an international meeting on climate change in Cancun, Mexico last month.



Capital Regional District Sewage Treatment Plant Program

December 29th, 2010

$782 million

2010 Ranking: NEW

Sector: Water/Wastewater

Location: Southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Owner: Capital Region District

Key Players: Stantec (business case, management andtechnical planning services); CH2M HILL (preliminary planning/study); Ernst & Young (business case); Westland Resource Group, Associated Engineering, Kerr Wood Leidal Associates (consultants); C N Ryzuk & Associates (geotechnical consultant)

Funding: The procurement model is still being chosen.

Status: Approval has been granted by the B.C. government. The full project is expected to take ten years to complete.


Andy Orr with the Capital Regional District says this is the largest wastewater treatment project currently underway in the country. The system configuration will include a centralized, liquids-only treatment facility at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt and a separate biosolids digestion facility, located either at the Hartland Landfill or another suitable location. The system will also make it possible the defer the West Shore wastewater treatment plant until 2030. The proposed Clover Point wet weather facility has been eliminated from the project plan pending the minster of environment’s approval. 

The Clover and Macaulay facilities will be upgraded to pump wastewater to McLoughlin, and grit removal facilities will be added to the existing screening facilities at both locations. The Craigflower pump station will also be upgraded. The B.C. Ministry of Community and Rural Development has suggested a P3 model for the larger projects (treatment facilities) and a traditional funding model for smaller aspects of the project (upgrades to pump stations and pump lines).