September 17, 2011


VIC DERMAN CFAX PODCAST ABOUT SOURCE CONTROLS (mentions stalled sewage plant process)



At the CRD’s Core Area Liquid Management Committee to-day the Chair Denise Blackwell reported to the committee that she and staff had met with four Provincial Ministers and one Federal Minister to enquire of the status of funding for their 1/3 contributions to the CRDs plans.  

While all the ministers had made some verbal assurances that funding would be forthcoming no official news has been received. 

The Chair has arranged a meeting with Premier Christy Clark at the Union of BC Municipalities meeting September 26-30th at the Vancouver Convention Center to discuss the commitment for funding for the CRD’s plan for land based sewage treatment.

(There were no media present to report on the chair’s comments or on the very positive comments on the Source Control Report report ).



There's still time to review our sewage options
Environmental, sustainability issues yet to be answered for megaproject
by Shaun Peck - Times Colonist - September 8th 2011.
Many people in Victoria think that building land-based sewage treatment for the core municipalities is a done deal.
 However, the reality is that there will be more delays in planning. There is still time to review whether there will be any environmental benefit from building these plants.
 In November 2010, the Capital Regional District submitted a "business case" to the province for funding approval. This approval has not yet been obtained. Now, with further provincial financial uncertainty after the commitment to cancel the harmonized sales tax, there will likely be further delays.




1. CARBON NEUTRAL OPERATIONS UPDATE (wastewater mentioned)
Report #EEP 11-6

2. 2011 ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT BUDGET MID-YEAR REPORT (includes Leachates operations - which enter sewage stream)



Vic's talk about source controls starts about 10 minutes into the podcast. Vic notes that, while he is still a fan of the sewage treatment project, but that the area around the outfalls has been improving over the last 5-6 years. Interviewer says he won't ask if source controls successful, why do we need sewage treatment? Interviewer notes that no sewage treatment meetings over summer. Vic says we'll find out more in a day or two. At 13:30 minutes, Vic does say that the sewage treatment project now on hold, because no real commitment from federal or provincial government to fund it. Until funding happens, not going much further. At 14:50, Vic talks about Juan de Fuca resort issue.



Kyle Slavin
Saanich News
September 16, 2011 2:07 PM

Saanich and the Capital Regional District have come up with a proposed agreement that would see the municipality purchase the CRD-owned portion of Haro Woods.

Haro Woods in Cadboro Bay, between Arbutus, Finnerty and Haro roads, is owned, in chunks, by Saanich, the CRD and the University of Victoria.

Under the proposed $7.2-million agreement, details of which were made available Friday, Saanich would trade the CRD's 4.32-hectare portion for 1.5 hectares of its current land.

"Essentially we would be preserving 94 per cent of the entire (Haro Woods) site as urban woodland," said Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard.

The existing six per cent is previously disturbed municipal land that has sanitary sewer infrastructure on it, including trunks, mains and a metering station.

In this 1.5-hectare site, the CRD proposes to install an underground 5,000 cubic-metre attenuation tank and pump house. Plans in the future also would allow for the installation of another 7,000 cubic-metre tank, but that would also remain within that same 1.5-hectare footprint.

There would also be a minimum 35-metre buffer between the underground tank and all adjacent Saanich land, as well as a 25-metre forested buffer with Arbutus Road.

"The threat (right now) is the land owned by the CRD is zoned for residential, so someone could come in with a subdivision application and we (Saanich council) wouldn't be able to stop it," Leonard explained.

"The second threat is when the CRD has an approved sewage plan, that can override a municipality's objection to the siting of it on the land. This agreement is as close to a win-win as you can get."

The CRD purchased its Haro Woods land from Queen Alexandra Foundation in January 2009 when it was thought to be an ideal location for a sewage treatment plant.

In 2010, the CRD determined that McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt would be a better location for the treatment facility and scrapped its plans in Haro Woods.

The attenuation tank that would be installed if this agreement is approved would temporarily store wastewater flows during storms to prevent downstream overflows, wrote Saanich's municipal administrator Tim Wood, in a report to council.

The CRD conducted an economic, ecological and social assessment, and residents suggested moving the tank to the Saanich land to ease environmental concerns.

"Relocating the tanks to the adjacent Saanich-owned property … as suggested in public feedback will mitigate environmental impacts," Wood wrote in his report.

"Building attenuation tanks on this parcel instead of the currently owned CRD property will result in protection of the parcel with the greatest ecological integrity,” added CRD Board Chair Geoff Young, referencing preserving native vegetation and wildlife in the woods.

"Environmentally, there are some very serious, hard questions to be looked at and really considered," said Franca LaBella, chair of the Saanich Community Association Network. "We can talk about what we're going to do, but what are they going to do during construction (of the tank and pump house)? That'll take 18 months to two years – that's a huge amount of time to impact nature – the owls, wildlife and natural vegetation. Are they going to be protected? Are they going to be moved? Fortunately they have time to answer these."

In the agreement, in addition to the 1.5 hectares of Haro Woods land, Saanich would also transfer 8.5 hectares of land adjacent to Hartland Landfill to the CRD, and pay the CRD $1.49 million from municipal reserves.

"There are purists, idealists who'll say 94 per cent (of Haro Woods preserved as woodland) is not enough," Leonard said. "Ninety-four per cent out of 100 is not a compromise. I think it's a real success, and I hope the community sees it that way, too."

In 2008, Saanich placed a covenant on its Haro Woods land requiring council hold a public meeting before making decisions regarding the property.

The agreement is expected to come before Saanich council on Oct. 17. If approved, it would also require going to public hearing.

"Between Panama Flats and Haro Woods, we could basically increase Saanich's park inventory by 79 acres in one year," Leonard said. "I've described the Panama Flats acquisition as once in a lifetime. We can accomplish once in a lifetime twice this year."


Bill Cleverley
Times Colonist
September 17, 2011

Saanich and the Capital Regional District have tentatively agreed on a multi-million-dollar land swap that will protect as park about 7.3 hectares of urban forest known as Haro Woods.

"I think this is a huge accomplishment for our community.

I'm very excited about this," Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard said Friday.

In return for a chunk of CRD-owned Haro Woods property, Saanich will give the CRD a piece of adjacent land for underground sewage holding tanks.

If the deal is ratified, it, along with the recent acquisition of Panama Flats, represents a four per cent increase in parkland for Saanich. Leonard said the two deals represent a historic accomplishment.

"This is 79 acres between Panama and Haro accomplished in one year if the two projects go through to the signing stage."

In February, Saanich said it had agreed to pay $2.4 million in land and cash to buy Panama Flats from Island Berry Co., preserving a flood plain and avoiding a potentially lengthy and expensive legal action with the company over its right to construct a berm.

Community representatives said Friday they were pleased with the Haro Woods deal.

Don Gunn, president of the Gordon Head Residents Association, called the agreement a win-win. "As we understand, there's potential of protection of parkland and actually enhancement of parkland, and the area that is designated for the tanks or the storage area is an area that is already being used for a pump station and not in its natural state," he said.

Deborah Dickson, president of the Haro Strait Ecosystem Preservation Society, said the deal represents "a good direction in the process." "There will be consultation to follow up but preserving 94 per cent of the forest, I think, is the best offer we've had."

The future of Haro Woods became a flashpoint when it was identified as the site of one of up to 11 small sewage treatment plants. Last summer, the CRD opted for one treatment site at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt and overflow tanks in Saanich instead of a second treatment facility.

Franca LaBella, chairwoman of the Saanich Community Association Network, said there's likely to be mixed feelings among members of community associations.

"Obviously, there's some very strong views and concerns about the environmental impact of the whole thing," she said.

LaBella said she believes the municipality has made the best of a difficult situation. "It's a very delicate line I think they're balancing on."

Under the deal, still to be ratified by the Capital Regional District board and Saanich council, Saanich will acquire the 4.37-hectare CRD-owned Haro Woods property (less a 0.06-hectare strip) valued at $7.2-million. That land at Finnerty and Arbutus roads will be rezoned to park.

In exchange, Saanich will give the CRD 1.5 hectares of the adjacent 2.92 hectares the municipality owns - valued at about $3.6 million - and rezone it to permit the CRD to install underground sewage holding tanks.

The remaining 1.42 hectares will be rezoned to park.

To make up the difference in property values, Saanich will give the CRD 8.5 hectares of land adjacent to Hartland landfill (valued at $2.1 million) as a buffer to the landfill and pay the CRD $1.48 million in cash in annual, interest-free instalments of $212,613 over the next seven years.

The shape and footprint of the sewage tank and above groundpump station have yet to be determined. The initial tank will measure 5,000 cubic metres and there will be potential for a further 7,000-cubic-metre tank. It will be buried and surfaced with grass and shrubs, and equipped with an odour-treatment system.



Hello ARESST and supporters,

There are some lessons here for members of ARESST and other who are hoping to change the politicians and public's mind about a $782 Million project. This Juan de Fuca Trail land fight was all about a $3 Million purchase!! What can we learn from that?

The community mobilisation was amazing.

Subject: Juan de Fuca: Why we won and how we'll win big

It was epic! Three days of public hearings, 250 speakers, and over 400 submissions (all but a few opposed). We heard testimonials from Sooke, Port Renfrew, Jordan River, Otter Point, East Sooke, Shirley, Victoria, Langford, Saanich, Vancouver, Ontario, Israel and Belgium.

On Friday, one after the other, three of the five committee members announced they were changing their votes to stop the vacation home development at Juan de Fuca. We won!

Read the TC article:

We won by shifting the balance in JDF toward the public interest. We won because so many people came together with such tremendous commitment. I heard you loud and clear, and so did the CRD directors, and so did the newspapers, radios, and television. Congratulations!

Now, with this amazing momentum and community spirit, we have a golden opportunity to take on the bigger issues.

The Juan de Fuca resort exposed a deeper problem - the big money interests who think they're entitled to profit at the expense of parks and livability.  We defeated this proposal. But what about the next one, and the one after that?

Going forward, we need to bring back sanity and the public interest to land-use decisions. We need to take action to:

1)      Restore watersheds and habitat
2)      Protect forestlands and wildlife
3)      Preserve our parks
4)      Plan smart and sustainable growth

Almost everyone wants this. So what's the big obstacle?

Development interests are represented by a group called the BC Landowners Association. As far as I can tell, there's only about two dozen active members trying to lobby for their version of "private property rights," which they believe trump regional planning laws and everyone else's rights. It's a tiny group, but they think they run everything – and they're almost right.

Read how local land-use committees _really_ make decisions:

This special-interest group dominates the Juan de Fuca land-use committee (the local advisory committee) and throws its weight behind members of CRD Land Use Committee A, which currently makes all the decisions about development in the Juan de Fuca area.

That part hasn't changed in the past week.

The good news is the municipal elections are coming in November. It's become very clear what local residents value and where the incumbents stand, and we're betting the results could be very interesting.

Mike Hicks is up for re-election, and he will face a challenger this time. That's all we know right now, but I expect an announcement in the coming weeks.

The local land-use committee seats are also up for election. Winning candidates from East Sooke, Jordan River, Shirley, Malahat, Willis Point, and Point Renfrew will serve the public on this key committee.
Seems like most people could do a better job than Ted Mehler of Port Renfrew, George Miller from Shirley/Jordan River, or Neil Smith of East Sooke, who all voted in favour of the Juan de Fuca resort.

Nominations are open until October 14. continues its mapping projects this fall and winter, and we're looking to arrange meetings to hear residents' ideas for protection, restoration, and sustainability for their favourite places. Volunteers, suggestions, and donations are welcome – please visit us at

Thank you!