April 18, 2011

READY FOR THE VOTE? THREE DEBATES PLANNED FOR VICTORIA (will sewage treatment be mentioned?)
CITY OF VICTORIA GETS NATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY AWARD (marine sewage treatment not mentioned!)

ARESST: From article below: "He said it is important to use science to find the right solutions..."
If any of our members attended Ignatieff's Victoria meeting, could you email me if he did say anything about sewage treatment? 
Thanks! John


Mike De Souza, 
Times Colonist
Postmedia News 
April 17, 2011

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff appealed to green voters in Greater Victoria Sunday, as his election campaign tour wrapped up a weekend swing through Western Canada.

“We have to protect Canada’s oceans, we have to protect our water, we have to protect our watersheds,” he said at a town hall meeting at the Crystal Garden conference centre.

“We hold this in sacred trust. The candidates here have made this so clear to me, every time I’m in Victoria. This is the city in Canada with the deepest and most passionate environmental commitment of any community in the country. You should be proud of it.”

He said that British Columbians also need a government that is committed to a tanker ban in the northern Pacific and also understands the need to create thousands of green jobs, through policies such as incentives for home energy retrofits.

“Mr. Harper has said you [have] to choose between the environment or the economy,” Ignatieff said. “We’re saying we won’t have an economy unless we go green, and this is where we have to go.”

Ignatieff was backed by local Liberal candidates, including Renée Hetherington, running in Saanich-Gulf Islands against incumbent Conservative cabinet minister Gary Lunn, Green party leader Elizabeth May, and NDP candidate Edith Loring-Kuhanga.

He also said the government needs to do more to investigate what’s happening to declining fish stocks. He said it should start by listening to scientists at the University of Victoria, noting that the issue goes beyond economic interests.

“There’s something deeper here,” he said, in response to a question about halibut stocks from a woman who said her husband was a sports fisher. “Are we messing around the environment in ways that we don’t understand with potentially catastrophic consequences? The halibut matters to us, and the salmon matters to us because they’re kind of canaries in the mine, if I can change metaphors.’’

He suggested that declining fish stocks suggest existing practices could lead to catastrophic consequences.

“What happens to the halibut, what happens to the salmon, could be what happens to us,” Ignatieff said. “I think it’s one of the things in the politics of British Columbia which I’ve learned most from.”

He said it is important to use science to find the right solutions, while also ensuring that the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has earned the trust of local and aboriginal fishermen.

“If fish farming is harming the wild salmon, we’ve got to stop it. We’ve got to put it on land or stop it altogether,” he said.

Ignatieff also drew cheers from the crowd after announcing that a Liberal government would convene a federal provincial summit on health care to secure long-term funding with a focus on home care and drug insurance coverage.

Earlier, while campaigning in Vancouver, he criticized Conservative leader Stephen Harper, noting that he had not convened any meetings of that nature after five years in the prime minister’s office.





Timescolonist.com April 15, 2011

Who are you going to vote for in the May 2 federal election?

If you're not sure yet or perhaps just want to confirm your choice, plan to attend one of three all-candidates debates to be held in Greater Victoria next week. The debates are hosted by the Times Colonist, CBC Radio and CHEK TV.

The format will include questions from the audience, on any topic.

The first event, set for Monday, April 18, is in the Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca riding and will be moderated by CHEK News anchor Scott Fee. The 90-minute debate begins at 7 p.m. at the Isabelle Reader Theatre at Spencer Middle School, 1026 Goldstream Ave., Langford. Plan to get there early as this venue fills up quickly.

On Wednesday, April 20, candidates in the Victoria riding will gather to debate the issues through moderator Gregor Craigie of CBC Radio at the Oak Bay high school auditorium, 2151 Cranmore Rd., from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

That's followed on Thursday, April 21, by a debate with candidates in the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding at the Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave., Sidney, from 7:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. This event will be moderated by Times Colonist editorial pages editor Dave Obee.


CITY OF VICTORIA GETS SUSTAINABILITY AWARD (marine sewage treatment not a problem)

Next week, City of Victoria is getting a major award, the Corporate Knights Award for Most Sustainable City in Canada, and if you review the reports (linked below), the award is going to City of Victoria over competing Canadian cities, all of whom but Victoria use land-based sewage treatment. This might be an unspoken affirmative that our current,  marine-based sewage treatment certainly didn't impede City of Victoria's coming out tops in Canada for sustainability!

Mosting interesting possibility in the future is that if a CRD sewage treatment plant did get plunked at McLoughlin Point, the thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases produced at that Esquimalt site won't stop City of Victoria from claiming a future CK sustainability award!! Might hurt Esquimalt's chances quite a bit, because even the promise of reducing some of the greenhouse gases will be in Saanich's Hartland landfill site.

APRIL 21, 2011, 10am

Download the 3 reports below from link at: http://victoria.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=21957

2. Climate Action Program
--K. Fowler, Director of Sustainability
Report_Climate Action Program.pdf

3.Victoria Sustainability Framework (VSF) Implementation Project Update
--K. Fowler, Director of Sustainability
Report_Victoria Sustainability Framework.pdf

4.Presentation of Corporate Knights Award for Most Sustainable City in Canada
--K. Fowler, Director of Sustainability
Report_Presentation of Corporate Knights Award.pdf



Victoria Natural History Society
Tuesday, April 19

Intertidal Exploration Trip

Join Phil Lambert, former RBCM Curator of Invertebrates – and meet various molluscs, sea stars, worms, crustaceans, sea anemones, and other creatures living under the rocks of Macauley Point. 

It will be wet and slippery underfoot so wear rubber boots, bring walking poles and don’t forget your camera.  

Meet at 10 a.m. in the parking lot at the foot of Lampson St. at Fleming Beach in Esquimalt.  We will then walk to Macauley Point for our search. Contact Gwen Walter 250-727-7376 for more information.



Free Public Tours Offered During National Drinking Water Week

May 2 - 7, 2011

The Capital Regional District (CRD) Integrated Water Services department will once again be offering free public tours of the water supply facilities, including the Sooke Dam and the ultraviolet treatment plant, to find out how your tap water is delivered. Water plays a vital role in our daily lives, so let’s celebrate the essential
See attached poster for further information.


March 28, 2011 DOI:10.1021/CEN031011143933
Spreading Resistance During Wastewater Treatment
ACS Meeting News: Heavy metals promote the spread of antibiotic resistance in treatment plant microbes

Many wastewater treatment plants use bacteria to break down organic material in sewage.When people pop antibiotics to treat infections, the drugs often end up excreted into sewage. As scientists continue to find these antibiotics in the wastewater coming from homes and hospitals, they worry that the drugs' presence is fueling the spread of antibiotic resistance. At the American Chemical Society meeting in Anaheim, Calif., researchers reported that wastewater contains other chemicals that might also promote antibiotic resistance: heavy metals.

Environmental scientists have previously observed a connection between metals and antibiotic resistance in metal-contaminated soils and freshwater sediments. The bacteria living in these environments had significantly higher levels of resistance than bacteria from noncontaminated soils.

Edward F. Peltier of the University of Kansas, Lawrence; David Graham of Newcastle University, in England; and their colleagues wondered if the phenomenon also occurred in wastewater treatment plants. These plants are a unique environment where, along with antibiotics, metals such as zinc and copper are common. Bacteria also play a key role in the treatment process. After removing solids from wastewater, treatment plants mix it with a sludge containing an array of bacteria that chew up dissolved organic compounds.

Peltier and his team simulated that process, called activated sludge treatment, to determine whether metals could spread antibiotic resistance. They constructed lab-scale versions of the sludge reactors from inverted 4-L glass bottles with their bottoms cut off. Each reactor started with water containing a mix of organic molecules and other nutrients commonly found in wastewater, along with bacteria from wastewater samples collected from a nearby treatment plant.

After allowing the bacteria to grow, the researchers put their collection of minireactors through three experimental phases. In the first phase, they monitored baseline levels of antibiotic resistance in the sludge bacteria. The scientists next added metals, either copper or zinc, to some of their reactors and monitored any changes in resistance. For the third phase, they added one of three antibiotics to each reactor. Throughout the experiment, the researchers monitored the levels of dissolved organic material to ensure that the reactors were running efficiently.

They found that copper alone, in the absence of antibiotics, could promote resistance to the antibiotic ciprofloxacin, with resistance levels jumping from a baseline level of 7% of the reactor population after the first phase to 11% after the second phase. Zinc alone didn't have an effect, but in the presence of certain antibiotics it did enhance resistance levels. In reactors receiving zinc and tetracycline, 63% of the bacteria were resistant to the antibiotic. Meanwhile, resistance levels in reactors that received tetracycline and no metal were only 44%.

If metals do help spread antibiotic resistance in wastewater treatment plants, then they could be a more long-lasting source of resistance than are antibiotics themselves, Peltier says. "Antibiotics can degrade, metals can't," he says.

Rolf U. Halden of Arizona State University, Tempe, calls the study "a great example of how environmental engineering and environmental chemistry intersect with a major issue in human health." He thinks that the results raise questions about how we deal with industrial wastewater, which contains significant levels of metals. Treatment plants often mix this water with domestic sewage, bringing antibiotics and metals together. Removing metals from industrial wastewater before it reaches these plants could minimize the problem, he says.