January 13, 2011




Excerpts from Young's Inaugural Address below: 

The Core Area’s wastewater treatment program will also continue to rank high on the CRD’s list of responsibilities. We continue to evaluate improvements to the current system and will conduct public consultation on any improvements considered. We will need to consider possible mitigation and community benefit principles and an agreeable cost sharing formula in the first quarter of this year, as well as secure agreements on governance and procurement.

I would particularly like to thank director Brownoff for her past work as chair of the Core Area LWMC, and to thank director Blackwell for agreeing to assume this role.

CRD Board Chair Geoff Young 
Inaugural Address

January 2011

Good afternoon. Thank you for your diligence and commitment during this first CRD Board meeting of 2011.To begin, I would like to express my appreciation for your efforts over the last year. You have been instrumental in helping to make the CRD into a remarkable region, and your achievements should not go unrecognized.

I would like to begin by recognizing, on behalf of the Board, that the CRD exists within the traditional territories of many First Nations. The work we do has a direct effect on these communities, and it is work best done with their involvement and participation. It is only with this real intention that we will create a meaningful and workable relationship.

I would like to touch on some of our major areas of work over the next year. 

The Regional Sustainability Strategy is now in the middle of its five year update. This spring will bring continued consultation with citizens on policy options and the drafting of the new plan. I would like to see this new strategy provide the CRD with a solid focus on sustainability, as well as take into account the economic and social development needed to maintain our region and its workforce. Sustainable transportation alternatives will need to be considered carefully when crafting this plan. The decisions we make now will affect the manner and length of future commuting on the south island as well as our greenhouse gas emission levels. Our planning committee will be charged with moving forward on the regional transportation and sustainability plans. I should also mention that our planning committee has made significant progress on focusing our health capital funding to keep these expenditures under control for the future.

The Parks Committee has shepherded us through the WFP land acquisitions—a truly visionary acquisition.

Regional Parks is also creating its new Parks Master plan, which will guide acquisition and management of current and future park lands for the next ten years. We have advanced on the E&N rail trail and bridges and on the Sea to Sea Green Blue Belt Management Plan. Recent purchases in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, including Jordan River Beach, Sandcut Beach and parcels in the Sea to Sea Green Blue Belt were completed in part using proceeds from the sale of land from the Island View Beach acquisition. On Pender Island we have purchased the final parcel of Brooks Point Regional Park. We must now take the time to digest these new purchases and determine which parcels need to be retained. There may be a better use for some of the land that we have acquired, given the contributions of our funding partners and the continued pressure to protect high priority lands as they become available.

For the Environmental Sustainability Committee and staff in the division, waste diversion will be the main focus of the upcoming year. We must find ways of extending the life of Hartland landfill. Increased diversion and recycling will assist in this and will also help encourage our region to take greater responsibility for our waste, including biosolids, organics and consumer products.

The Core Area’s wastewater treatment program will also continue to rank high on the CRD’s list of responsibilities. We continue to evaluate improvements to the current system and will conduct public consultation on any improvements considered. We will need to consider possible mitigation and community benefit principles and an agreeable cost sharing formula in the first quarter of this year, as well as secure agreements on governance and procurement.

Our finance committee has provided a framework for modest budget increases and a fresh look at how we do our budget reviews. There are significant budget challenges ahead of us in all of the areas I have mentioned, including our solid and liquid waste systems, in our water supply systems and in parks acquisition and management. 

Particular thanks is due to committee chairs Brownoff, Causton, Finall, Hill and Ranns for your additional efforts as Chairs of our subcommittees, and in helping these issues to move forward. 

I should note that CRD staff has also carried out a major reorganization to improve our ability to respond to the Board’s focus on environmental sustainability. I wish to thank them, as well, for their dedication.

I would like to spend a moment talking about the future of CRD and the governance of this region. The people of this region have an expectation that their local governments will show a degree of cooperation among themselves. We see this most clearly in times of emergency, but I believe that it is an emerging view for a number of issues.

We have developed a great many ways to achieve cooperation and provide needed services in the region:the former water district, cooperation agreements among our police and fire departments, the 911 emergency response system, the airport board and the Harbour Authority are examples. I could also mention CREST and the numerous bodies now operating under the umbrella of the CRD.

However, we have also become accustomed to a situation in which a great many important decisions are being made for us by other levels of government. It may make sense that our regional airport and our harbour lands are run by independent boards set up by the federal government, since they have provided these lands to us, and it may also make sense for the provincial government to determine where our hospitals will go, since they operate them.

But why is it that planning for our bus system and future rapid transit— for which the great majority of funding comes from local sources—is being done by a largely provincially appointed board, which will change if the provincial government changes? Local taxpayers, through their local governments and their gas taxes, provide the majority of funding for local highways. Why do we accept it as normal that major decisions about which local interchanges on our major highways will be funded—decisions that profoundly affect travel for all of us—should be made by higher levels of government to meet their own objectives?

And of course we hear from many people who feel that the CRD should be taking a larger role in various aspects of regional planning.

In other jurisdictions, various ways to better address regional issues have been tried. In some places a completely separate region or county level of government exists, with separately elected representatives responsible directly to voters to achieve regional objectives.In other areas, full amalgamation has brought all decisions into a single city hall.  I do not believe that we are heading for either of those outcomes any time in the near future. This is partly because regional districts, as constituted in BC, with municipal representatives serving dual roles, have proven to be a fairly successful model. I think the CRD will continue in generally its present form.

We do have to be conscious that there is likely to be a growing expectation that governments will work in a coordinated way, and that as directors we will be responsive to voters.

We have all been elected, either by ballot at time of elections or by our council.It is important that as directors we fill our responsibility to the voters as regional decision makers.This means, most fundamentally, taking the time to participate in making the decisions we are going to answer for, both at the board and at committee meetings. At the Board table directors should be able to explain and defend decisions they took at committee, within the context of all of the other issues that the Board deals with. Alternate directors are intended to insure that a municipal interest does not go unrepresented, and perhaps that a crucial decision is made, only because a director was ill or unavoidably absent at a Board meeting where a final decision is being made. They are not intended to increase the number of individuals filling responsibilities as directors beyond the current number.

We know how important the committee Chairs are in driving the work of the CRD.Chairing a committee is onerous and time consuming, since chairs do not just preside over meetings, but also meet with staff, visit CRD facilities or potential sites and acquisitions, consult with the public and with interest groups, meet with federal and provincial officials, and represent the CRD in media interviews.They sometimes have to defend CRD board positions that may not be popular in their own communities.

Once each three year term, more or less, our staff and board have reviewed levels of remuneration for directors. Since a previous review in 2006 remuneration for Directors has increased by the average monthly change in the Victoria Consumer Price Index. I will be suggesting that the level of remuneration among the Board Chair, the Board Vice Chair, committee Chairs and directors, as well as alternate directors, may also benefit from rebalancing. Currently, the work of some committee chairs is probably closer to that of the Board Chair than it is to that of other directors. Certainly I can confirm that chairing a committee is not a job that all directors are happy to shoulder.

I will be asking the Finance committee under director Ranns to receive the staff report, discuss the issues of remuneration and if appropriate bring back recommendations for any changes to the Board so that they can be adopted in advance of the election in order to be implemented for the next Board of Directors in 2012.

I have made only minor changes in the committee assignments, attempting to meet director preferences for jobs and committees. Every director who indicated a willingness to be chair or vice-chair of a committee has been appointed as a chair or vice chair (though not always in their first choice of role).

I would particularly like to thank director Brownoff for her past work as chair of the Core Area LWMC, and to thank director Blackwell for agreeing to assume this role.

I am optimistic for the future of the region. Within a spirit of co-operation we have accomplished a lot over the last year and I want to thank you all for your hard work and efforts. There were many meetings and public consultation events, all of which required the combined effort of Board members to move us forward.  We have demonstrated that regional land use planning and planning for investment in regionally significant transportation facilities is possible.  Planning is beginning to take place in an atmosphere where we recognize our mutual dependence and our mutual goal of making this a better region to live in.

Together we can provide a powerful and rational voice not only for the people of this region but to the provincial and federal governments to support our initiatives.

I thank you again for your continued support.



The Gorge Waterway Initiative is sponsoring another Speakers Series event:

Join Nikki Wright, SeaChange Marine Conservation Society Executive Director, and Alicia Donaldson, UVic graduate student studying native oysters, in an evening of discovery as they reveal secrets of the eelgrass meadows of the Gorge Waterway, and the native Olympia oysters that inhabit this productive ecosystem.

7:30pm Wed. February  9, 2011
Burnside Gorge Community Centre
471 Cecelia Rd, Victoria

 This is a free public event – bring a friend!

Please forward to anyone else who might be interested.

Kitty Lloyd, BSc
Assistant Harbours and Watersheds Coordinator
625 Fisgard St
Victoria, BC V8W 2S6
T: 250-360-3299   F: 250-360-3047



Dear John,
Both major provincial parties will be choosing a new leader in the next few months. This is an unprecedented opportunity to be part of selecting leaders who may be the Premiers of BC for much of the next decade. As such, they will be the key decision makers who decide what steps BC will take to protect its precious environment – or what steps BC will take to further degrade it.

As a British Columbian who cares about our wildlife, forests, fish, clean water, oil-free coasts and climate impacts, we urge you to help make the environment a decisive leadership issue for both parties.

Party leadership is decided on by members. Find out how you can be one of the few who will make a choice that could count for a decade. Cut off dates are fast approaching so act now!

Organizing for Change will be sending you candidate responses to key environmental questions prior to the voting days. If you are a member of one of the parties selecting new leadership, this will help you select the candidate that you believe will be the best environmental champion for BC. If you’re not yet a member of a party, but want to have a say, click here to find out how you can.

We are in a unique position: the choices we make now will have a profound impact on the future of our province. Now is the time to make sure British Columbians are represented by leaders who put the environment at the top of the agenda.

This alert is part of a series of action alerts from members of Organizing for Change, an effort of BC's leading conservation groups working to protect the health of the people, land, air, water and wildlife of British Columbia. Together we identify environmental priorities that we present to government as opportunities for them to demonstrate their environmental leadership. We are partnering withConservation Voters of BC on this e-alert; CVBC is a separate, volunteer-run organization that works to elect environmental champions in BC.

Organizing for Change members participating in this special B.C. leadership message:
BC Sustainable Energy Association
Dogwood Initiative
Georgia Strait Alliance
West Coast Environmental Law
In order to ensure delivery of this email, please add info@organizingforchange.org to your address book or safe senders list.
You have received this email because you are a member or supporter of one (or more!) of these organizations. OFC is acting on behalf of these member organizations and your name is not being shared and will not be used for any other purpose. This email was originally sent to jnewcomb@uvic.ca.
If you would prefer not receive additional alerts from Organizing for Change, you can unsubscribe.

Who We Are

We are a volunteer-run organization active at election times.
Conservation Voters of BC works on making BC politicians accountable to the strong environmental values of the BC public. We do this by tracking the environmental performance of BC's elected officials, by working on the passage of a progressive policy agenda for BC, and by supporting the candidacy of environmentally minded candidates for office.
In last 6 federal, provincial and municipal elections we have endorsed 40 candidates who we believed would stand for environmental principles in the legislature, in council and within their parties. These candidates came from NDP, Green, Liberal and municipal parties. 31 of our endorsees won, sometimes by very narrow margins.
We are non-partisan in that we believe environmentally minded candidates can do good work within all of BC’s major parties.
If you believe the actions of BC's elected officials should reflect the strong environmental values of British Columbians, join other Conservation Voters supporters working to make this a reality. By law we cannot take money from charitable foundations, so we rely heavily on the donations of time and money from people like you.Drop us a line to get involved.
The Conservation Voters of BC is a registered non-profit society, but not a charity.


The organization is governed by a Board that draws on people active on environmental issues in BC. Current directors are:
  • Naomi Devine
  • Will Horter
  • Lisa Matthaus
  • Kevin Washbrook

Advisory Committee
The Board consults with various BC environmental activists to provide information and advice based on their experience with candidates.

The Board takes full responsibility for any endorsement decisions; the advisory committee provides advice and information only.


Conservation Voters of BC relies on volunteers, especially during election times. In particular, volunteers get involved in canvassing for candidates endorsed by CVBC. If you'd be interested in volunteering with CVBC, please contact us.
Some  important details:

for joining to vote in election of the party leader: January 17th.
to join the party: $10, less for youth and underemployed.
Minimum member age 
to vote in the leadership race:  12
Leadership convention: April 17th.

Liberal Party:
for joining to vote in the election of the party leader: February 4th @  5 pm. 
to join the party: $10, less for youth.
Minimum member age 
to vote in the leadership race: 14
Leadership convention: February 26th.

Both party's minimum age requirements mean that high school students can vote in the leadership races!  Please forward this message to young British Columbians who careabout our common future.

Looking forward to choosing a premier for BC who shares our concern for the environment,
Will Horter
Conservation Voters of BC
ARESST: Scientific article below uses influent wastewater, not treated wastewater, so not having a sewage plant is necessary to get
the full energy resource in wastewater.

A new study finds a previous estimate of wastewater's potential as a renewable energy source "a substantial underestimation"

Mike Orcutt
Scientific American online
January 11, 2011 | 8

Is what you flush down the toilet wasted energy? People living in countries with flush-toilets and running water produce a huge amount of wastewater daily. This water, thanks largely to excrement, is full of organic compounds that store usable energy in their chemical bonds. Several methods can be employed to harvest it—for example, engineers can extract methane through anaerobic (oxygen-free) digestion, or produce electricity using microbial fuel cells.

In the past several years an increasing amount of research has focused on developing and improving on these methods, as harnessed sewage power could help water treatment plants produce enough power to meet all their own consumption—and even serve as a fuel source in developing countries where supplies are currently unreliable. But just how much usable energy does raw sewage hold? This was the question posed by the authors of a study published January 5 in Environmental Science & Technology. Their answer: wastewater likely holds a lot more than was previously thought.

Elizabeth Heidrich, a PhD student at Newcastle University in England and lead author of the new study, studies microbial fuel cells—devices that generate electrical current by capturing the electrons freed as bacteria break down organic matter in wastewater. As she was preparing her doctoral research project she decided to determine how much energy engineers could count on wastewater to provide. "It seemed like an obvious question to start with," she explains—which was why she was surprised that hardly anyone had previously asked it.

Heidrich found only one study, published in 2004, which had tried answer to the question. The authors had tested a sample of raw municipal sewage collected from a Toronto treatment plant and, using calorimetry (the measurement of heat absorption and emission), calculated the internal chemical energy of the sample to be 6.3 kilojoules per liter. They also correlated the amount of energy found in the sample to its chemical oxygen demand (COD), a commonly used indirect measurement of dissolved organic compounds. Based on this correlation, they estimated that, in all, the wastewater produced in 2004 by the world's 6.8 billion people contained a continuous supply of energy somewhere in the range of 70 to 140 gigawatts. (One large nuclear plant produces around 1 gigawatt).

But the results of this study—which Heidrich notes have been cited multiple times in the microbial fuel cell literature—are problematic, she says.

Before a sample can be tested in a calorimeter it has to be dry, and in this case the authors had dried their sample by leaving it overnight in an oven heated to 103 degrees Celsius,. And because the boiling points of several organic liquids—including methanol, ethanol and formic acid—found in sewage are lower than 103 degrees, Heidrich says, "I just felt like there would be stuff evaporating at that temperature." This loss would mean the authors had not accounted for all the energy contained in the sample.

So she and her colleagues collected their own samples—one from a plant that treats domestic, household wastewater and another from a facility that treats "mixed" wastewater containing chemicals disposed of by industrial facilities. Instead of using an oven they freeze-dried the samples before testing them in a calorimeter. They found that the industrial sample held about 16.8 kilojoules per liter, whereas the domestic sample contained 7.6—20 percent more than the previous study had reported for its domestic sample. Perhaps more importantly, given that wastewater samples are highly variable, Heidrich and her colleagues found that the commonly used COD measurement does not actually correlate to energy content, and thus is an unreliable metric. Had they relied on the same calculation methods employed in the previous study, the authors report, they would have found only around half the energy contained in each of their samples. Thus, the older estimate likely is a "substantial underestimation."

Heidrich's method has its own limitations: The freeze-drying step takes weeks, so it cannot be relied on as a routine testing method. And although the process preserves more organic matter than does oven drying, it still causes some energetic molecules to be lost. Regardless, Heidrich notes, the study's result has immediate real-world implications. "I think up until now domestic municipal wastewater has been seen as something that you can't really get energy from, so it's not worth the effort. Now hopefully that might change," she says.