- CALWMC MEETING 11 MAY AGENDA AND REPORTS
- CFAX SEWAGE VS TRANSIT SURVEY CONTINUES (LRT now up to 70.3%)
- REGIONAL VOICE NEEDED TO GET OTTAWA'S ATTENTION (Mayor Saunder's sewage comment)
- FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT FOR 17 YEARS: KEITH MARTIN STEPS AWAY FROM PUBLIC LIFE
WO MORE LETTERS: LRT VERSUS SEWAGE PLANT
CALWMC MEETING 11 MAY AGENDA AND REPORTS
AGENDA AND REPORTS:
6. #ERM 11-39 Integration of Liquid and Solid Waste Management Plans – Feasibility Study.
REPORT (4 pages):
corearealiquidwastem_/2011_/ 05may11_/2011may11item06erm11/ 2011may11item06erm11.pdf
7. #EWW 11-36 Community Amenities Funding – Core Area Wastewater Treatment Program.
REPORT (2 pages):
corearealiquidwastem_/2011_/ 05may11_/2011may11item07eww11/ 2011may11item07eww11.pdf
8. #EWW 11-35 Program Management Consulting Services Budget Status – Core Area Wastewater Treatment Program.
corearealiquidwastem_/2011_/ 05may11_/2011may11item08eww11/ 2011may11item08eww11.pdf
9. #EWW 11-38 North Shore Integrated Resource Recovery Study - Core Area Wastewater Treatment Program.
corearealiquidwastem_/2011_/ 05may11_/2011may11item09eww11/ 2011may11item09eww11.pdf
• Joint meeting with Environmental Sustainability Committee and Saanich Peninsula Wastewater Committee Wednesday, 25 May 2011 @ 10:30 am
• Wednesday, 8 June 2011
CFAX SEWAGE VS TRANSIT SURVEY CONTINUES (LRT now up to 70.3%)
ARESST members: If you haven't yet responded to the survey, it is still open at:
php?option=com_apoll&view= apoll&id=67:if-you-had-to- choose-one-of-the-following- victoria-area-mega-projects- and-cancel-the-other-which- would-you-pick
If you've already responded to the survey, you may respond again every 24 hours.
ARESST: Excerpts from news story below: “What we’re being told by the federal government is there’s only so much money in that kitty,” said Colwood Mayor Dave Saunders. Right now dollars to cents or best bang for your buck, I’d rather be putting money into health care and transit issues than sewage treatment,” he said.
REGIONAL VOICE NEEDED TO GET OTTAWA'S ATTENTION
May 04, 2011
Without a Conservative Member of Parliament to champion their projects, the region’s mayors agree top priorities need to be identified to build a stronger case to secure federal funding.
Former Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Gary Lunn served as minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and more recently, as minister of State for Sport, he helped facilitate the flow of federal stimulus funding for projects like the McTavish Interchange.
In his absence, regional consensus is crucial to decide on essential projects, especially if the Conservative government goes ahead with its plan to reduce the deficit.
“What we’re being told by the federal government is there’s only so much money in that kitty,” said Colwood Mayor Dave Saunders.
“Right now dollars to cents or best bang for your buck, I’d rather be putting money into health care and transit issues than sewage treatment,” he said.
From extending the runway at the Victoria airport to implementing a light rail transit system, several big and small projects are essential for region’s viability, but are reliant on federal help, said Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin.
“I have full expectation that Greater Victoria will receive its full share of federal investment and federal attention,” Fortin said. “I think on some of these key economic issues, we’re going to see results.”
Pricier items, such as the billion-dollar light rail, that would benefit the entire Island, have a good chance to be funded, even by a majority government, said Lynn Hunter, Victoria city councillor and former NDP Saanich-Gulf Islands MP.
That points to the pivotal need for a regional voice.
“I think we have to be optimistic, and we have two New Democrats and a Green that would be very supportive of that project,” Hunter said. “I think there will be differences even among New Democrats, but on this issue I don’t think there will be.
“Light rail is looking into the future of what we need here.”
Securing federal grants for projects, which involve an application process, will pose a greater challenge in this political climate, said Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard, adding that, thankfully, federal gas tax funding is allocated and therefore secure for municipal infrastructure projects.
If municipalities want a fighting chance for grants, they will have to bend the ears of MPs Randall Garrison, Elizabeth May and Denise Savoie.
“We’ll make sure they’re all up to speed on all of our applications, and look for them to knock on the door and help it along,” Leonard said.
ARESST: No mention below of Keith's good fight against the CRD's sewage plant!
FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT FOR 17 YEARS: KEITH MARTIN STEPS AWAY FROM PUBLIC LIFE
May 02, 2011
Dr. Keith Martin laughs as he says it: “I need a job.”
After nearly 18 years and countless battles in Parliament as a rebellious MP for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, Martin has packed up his Ottawa office and is trying to remember how to assemble a résumé.
The 51-year-old doctor announced in November he would bow out of politics due to the “toxic atmosphere of rabid partisanship” that killed meaningful debate in Ottawa. His political trajectory has been towards an exit ever since the rise of Prime Minister Stephen Harper as Conservative leader.
“The barometer of success is really helping people with their lives and providing value to taxpayers, not by slinging mud,” Martin says, the frustration evident. “Parliament has ground to a halt that it’s so dysfunctional.”
March 24 was his final day in the House of Commons, the day before the government fell in a non-confidence vote. Martin had meetings the same day in New York City with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Environmental Defense Network, laying the groundwork for future projects, but he missed the final vote.
Martin admits his last day in the House of Commons was bittersweet – the past two decades has been a ceaseless effort to push private member bills to highlight causes linked to human rights, health care, poverty reduction and the Canadian armed forces.
“I knew it was my last time in Parliament. It was a melancholy moment, a sad moment,” he says. “It’s such a beautiful building and there are such great people on Parliament Hill.”
Prompted from his time volunteering in a field hospital during the Mozambique civil war, Martin first proposed banning land mines in the mid-1990s. The Candian government uder the Liberals would later push through the Ottawa Treaty.
Socially liberal and an independent at heart, Martin championed harm reduction strategies as seen at InSite, the safe injection site in Vancouver, and tried to decriminalize marijuana. He worked with colleagues across the aisle to set out a timetable to bring troops home from Afghanistan, without abandoning the country. He was also vocal for the need of health care reform, daring to suggest private medical providers be allowed to co-exist alongside the public system.
One of his proudest moments was creating the International Conservation Caucus, a bipartisan committee aiming to stem habitat and biodiversity loss. Akin to that, he created the International Conservation Forum, Canada Aid and Canadian Physicians Overseas Program to promote international health and environmentalism initiatives.
Martin’s Langford-based executive assistant Jeff Silvester said e-mails from his boss would arrive late into the night. “He worked incredibly long hours,” Silvester says. “As a constituent, it felt good to see that my representative worked so hard.”
For Silvester, his proudest moments came when Martin put the defence minister on the hot seat after Ottawa moved to mothball navy ships at CFB Esquimalt, and when Martin tried to amend the Human Rights Act after a loophole allowed for the abuse of freedom of speech.
“There are so many stories. He was passionate and able to make a big difference to people’s lives around here,” Silvester says. “He made it easy to go in early and to work late.”
Martin’s influence was felt across the expansive riding, from CFB Esquimalt to Port Renfrew. Sooke Mayor Janet Evans said Martin helped secure federal funding for its sewage treatment project, a “turning point for the community.”
“With sewers came a new hotel, new development. It was a real catalyst,” Evans says. “He was a good advocate.”
Martin was first elected in 1993 as an MP for the Reform Party, which folded into the Canadian Alliance and then into the Conservative Party in 2003.
He crossed the floor in January 2004 to sit as an independent after clashing with Harper’s leadership style, which Martin says favoured strict obedience to party lines rather than “voting with one’s conscience.”
“It was hard. I lost a lot of friends and separated from a group that I’d been with a long time,” Martin says. “But I left with no regrets. Mr. Harper and I would have locked horns quickly. It was either I leave or get thrown out.”
He turned to the Liberal Party due to doubts over the NDPs ability to muster a viable economic plan. The switch didn’t bother constituents – he was re-elected as a Liberal in Esquimalt-JDF three times, albeit by a razor-thin margin in 2008.
“It’s about voting for the individual not the party,” says Bob Saunders, a Colwood business owner and Martin’s long time friend who encouraged the one-time emergency room physician to try his hand at politics. “He has done so much for the community, so much for the county. It’s a big loss to Canada.”
Martin’s friends and colleagues say he never lost the pulse of the community despite working constantly on global issues. As the writ dropped in Ottawa, Martin was helping a Victoria non-profit to ship medical aid to flood victims in Pakistan.
“He helped armed forces members get a pay raise, he helped them when they returned from Afghanistan,” Saunders says. “Who ever comes in his place, they’ve got big shoes to fill.”
Martin hopes to blend environmental conservation and health care reform into some kind of employment, perhaps working as a consultant or at a university. He’s unsure if he’ll stay living in Victoria, but he’s certain he’ll get more accomplished as a private citizen than a Canadian parliamentarian.
“I have to go where I can to get a job. Very shortly I will be unemployed,” he says. “I won’t do very well being idle.”
Despite the frustrations of recent years in Ottawa, Martin says it’s been gratifying help people and communities across Esquimalt-JDF.
“I’m grateful to the people of the riding. It’s a privilege to serve them and I’m grateful I’ve had the honour.”
Keith’s advice for new MPs
• You will be bombarded by requests and issues, so understand why you want the job and focus on specific projects.
• Be aware that being a parliamentarian can be a sedentary job with chronic sleep deprivation. Try to get exercise and avoid alcohol and fatty foods.
• Living in Ottawa part time can lead to family breakup and stress. If possible, have your family live in Ottawa when the House is sitting.
TWO MORE LETTERS: LRT VERSUS SEWAGE PLANTLetters
May 07, 2011
It's been decided that rail would be a better option than bus and high-occupancy vehicle lanes to move people from the Western Communities to Uptown and downtown, mostly to relieve traffic congestion twice a day.
Close to a billion dollars plus annual operating costs to move people to work in the morning and home again in the late afternoon.
For the most part, it will operate well under capacity, just as most of the buses on the roads are nearly empty.
Rail in the long term might be more efficient and cleaner, and yes, it might double ridership as they speculate, but that's not enough.
We're not a city of two million like Portland and Vancouver. Greater Victoria is under 400,000, including the Western Communities, and the system would primarily benefit the people of the Western Shore.
They tell us that it will cost the average homeowner $130 to $260 a year like it's spare change. No matter how much it ends up to be in the end, you can be sure the cost will go up by at least four to seven per cent each year, just as do your municipal taxes.
We've already been promised a tax increase of $300 to $500 a year for our sewage treatment on top of that.
With other levies and tax increases we're talking about $1,000 a year for the average homeowner before long.
Can we afford that? Do we want to afford that?
LRT REDUCES POLLUTION, BOOSTS PUBLIC HEALTH
May 07, 2011
Another reason for supporting light rail transit is the health of the community.
People who spend long periods of time breathing in polluted air are exposed to a variety of toxic chemicals. This is much more of a hazard than the exaggerated risks associated with our current way of dealing with sewage and use of some pesticides in our gardens.
Organizations like the B.C. Lung Association and the cancer society should be showing more leadership in letting governments at all levels know what real problems are being addressed when funding for rapid transit is being requested. Seeing this leadership in action is also likely to enhance charitable donations.