October 15, 2011

BC GOVERNMENT RED TAPE COULD STALL SEWAGE PROGRAM (is fed share now only 1/4, not 1/3?)
OTTAWA TO PROTECT RICHES OF STRAIT (seabed now federal but no sewage mention)
KNOW THE ISSUES IN THE MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS (Saturday panel at UVic, non-specific sewage mention

(CALWMC 12 October meeting cancelled - next meeting 9 November.)

ARESST: If its correct (see story below) that the federal share has shrunk to only 1/4 of the $782 million cost, when it had been 1/3 of cost, CRD and BC taxpayers have just been quietly hit with a significant cost increase. Wouldn't this increase brings effective CRD taxpayer burden to about the same share as if the project were really a total of $1 billion?


Sam Van Schie
Victoria News/Oak Bay News/Saanich News/Goldstream Gazette
October 12, 2011 

The Capital Regional District may need an extension on building its sewage treatment plant, with the province yet to give a firm funding commitment.

In 2006, the province gave the region 10 years to establish secondary sewage treatment, ending the current practice of pumping liquid waste into the ocean. Then-premier Gordon Campbell said his government would fund one-third of the cost.

But the deal has yet to be put in writing.

“It’s going to be impossible to meet the current deadline,” said Denise Blackwell, a Langford councillor who chairs the CRD sewage treatment committee. “It’s a frustration for sure. We’ve had no indication of when they’ll come forward with the funding.”

Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, said the project proposal is working its way through regular government process and is currently being reviewed by the treasury board.

“This is a large project and unfortunately it does take this long to go through,” Chong said. “We need to know exactly how we are going to roll it out, and over how many fiscal years, before any funding announcement.”

Chong and Blackwell both stressed that the sewage project will still go ahead.

“If the CRD wants to extend the deadline, that’s something that can be considered by the minister of Environment,” Chong said.

Blackwell said it’s hard to know how a delay would impact the overall project cost, estimated at $782 million.

However, if the province delays too long, Blackwell said a federal grant secured to cover 25 per cent of the project will expire.

“Our biggest question right now is: when? When will we get the funding? When can we move forward?” Blackwell said.

Chong wouldn’t speculate on the answers: “Even I don’t know that.”



Presentation:  The Evolution of Environmental Protection at the BC Ministry of Environment
The luncheon presentation is on:
When: Tuesday, October 25, 2011  11:40 - 13:10
Who: Jim StandenAssistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Protection Division, British Columbia Ministry of Environment
Summary:  Environmental management in British Columbia is changing. Prompted by resource constraints, increasingly complex environmental challenges and growing public expectations, the Environmental Protection Division must seek new ways of managing society’s impacts on our water, land and air. We must move beyond our traditional role as regulator, to one of environmental leader, influencer, and trusted partner.
Jim Standen was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Protection Division on November 1, 2010. The Division works to prevent pollution, effectively respond to climate change, and promote and restore environmental quality. Jim started his career in government as an auxiliary Fisheries Technician in Kamloops in 1992. Since then, Jim has held positions in Environmental Stewardship, Environmental Protection, Strategic Policy and Water Management. Most recently, he was Director of the Regional Operations Branch for EPAD and Chair of the Coast Region Interagency Director's Committee. During his 19 years with Environment, he has developed a broad knowledge of the business of the ministry and expertise in strategic planning, financial management and legislation and policy development. Jim has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of British Columbia as well as having studied accounting/business at UBC and Thompson Rivers University.
Please RSVP by email to Eric at AWMAinformation@gmail.com by 3 P.M on the Friday before the luncheon. Please note any special dietary requirements (vegetarian etc.).  Your email confirms your registration for the luncheon.
$15 – paid up A&WMA members (International)
$25 – non-members
$10 – students
Please pay at the door
**Cash or cheque only**
Lunch and coffee will be served at noon.
For more information on our technical lunches, visit  http://www.pnwis.org/Ch_VI/monthlyluncheon.htm
A complete list of upcoming technical luncheons featuring Ellen Frisch, Rob Dalrymple and Francis Zwiers is available at http://chapter.pnwis.org/Ch_VI/futureluncheon.htm.



fromKaragianis.MLA, Maurine Maurine.Karagianis.MLA@leg.bc.ca
toJohn Newcomb <newcombjohnhoward@gmail.com>
dateThu, Oct 13, 2011 at 12:57 PM
subjectRE: Clark, Dix choose industry-enviro sides

hide details 12:57 PM (4 minutes ago)
Hello John,

Further to our previous email correspondence, I would concur that the current government has reduced the BC EAA and the impacts are being felt around the province. Rob Fleming as the environment critic is on top of the file and I expect he will respond to your concerns.


From: John Newcomb [mailto:newcombjohnhoward@gmail.com]
Sent: October-02-11 5:24 PM
To: Dix.MLA, Adrian
Cc: James.MLA, Carole; Fleming.MLA, Rob; Karagianis.MLA, Maurine; Popham.MLA, Lana; Horgan.MLA, John
Subject: Re: Clark, Dix choose industry-enviro sides
- Hide quoted text -

Dix and NDP MLAs from Victoria: 

Sending this email below AGAIN because none of you have bothered to reply to me yet. I just can't imagine how totally
the NDP has caved into the Liberal and Conservative view of sewage treatment. 

John Newcomb

On Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 6:39 AM, John Newcomb <newcombjohnhoward@gmail.com> wrote:
Adrian Dix:

I'm concerned that you were quoted as saying "Clark is essentially opposed to environmental assessment; we're in favour," 
because none of the local NDP MLAs in Greater Victoria have yet spoken out about the flawed Campbell government process
of EIAs for the CRD sewage treatment plant project. 

The Municipal Sewage Regulations permit a totally-inadequate EIA - but limited only to sewage treatment plants. All other
major projects need to go through the BC Environmental Assessment Act. 

To understand the differences, the MSR's EIA guide is only 20 pages long, versus 200 pages for the BCEAA! 

Its critical that a really-comprehensive BCEEA EIA is completed on the CRD project, if only because the alternative of no land-based
sewage plant has been shown by many scientists and public health doctors to be a reasonable alternative. 

Otherwise, we'll be relying on a federal CEAA EIA for the sewage project to reveal that the current marine-based sewage treatment
system is actually more sustainable than the proposed land-based system - in part because our current system produces no sewage
sludge and very little greenhouse gases.

John Newcomb,member

OTTAWA TO PROTECT RICHES OF STRAIT (seabed now federal but no sewage mention)

Boundaries set after years of discussion
Judith Lavoie
Times Colonist
October 14, 2011

The rich environment of the southern Strait of Georgia is slated to become a national marine conservation area, giving extra protection to the marine life and water, but allowing most recreational and commercial activities to continue.

Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent, speaking Thursday at Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney, said that after years of discussion, boundaries have been set and will be finalized after consultation with First Nations and local governments. The plan, which will eventually take in 1,400 square kilometres of the Salish Sea, could be finalized within a year.

The protected area will stretch from Cordova Bay to southern Gabriola Island, including Saanich Inlet. However, protection will be phased in, starting with 800 square kilometres around the southern Gulf Islands.

The marine reserve will surround Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. The only other protected area of this kind is the ocean around Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site at Hecate Strait.

A marine protected area will not stop recreation, ecologically sustainable fishing, commercial shipping or other activities already taking place. But activities must not endanger the water, marine life or ecosystem, Kent said.

"What we have learned along the way is that protecting a body of water doesn't mean guarding it from Canadians. Our goal is to harmonize conservation practices with other activities such as fishing or shipping and, of course, recreation," he said.

The only activities prohibited in marine conservation areas are mining, oil and gas exploration and "exploitation."

Richard Carson, Parks Canada's national marine conservation area director, said higher standards will be set once the area is protected. "We will be addressing some of the sources of pollution and some of the habitat concerns that have been impacting the area, such as eelgrass, and that will help increase fish populations," Carson said.

A key consideration will be the level of fishing allowed and, while environmental groups are applauding the step toward protection, they are calling for "no take" core areas and buffer zones.

"We need to have protected areas that really mean something. We want to make sure it is really protected," said Sabine Jessen of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, who is also a member of the Southern Strait of Georgia National Marine Conservation Area Coalition.

"We need to have core areas where there are very few activities and, particularly, where there is no fishing," she said. "We are still looking at where those should be."

The coalition is also calling for special management zones, such as whale sanctuaries, research-only areas and eelgrass protection sites.

The southern Strait of Georgia is part of the habitat of endangered southern resident killer whales.

Marine life proliferates in the southern Strait of Georgia - with species including the giant Pacific octopus, wolf eels, salmon and seabirds - because fresh water from the Fraser River mixes with ocean water flooding through Juan de Fuca and Haro straits.

The diversity is why it was chosen as one of 29 marine regions that Parks Canada wants represented in a network of marine conservation areas.

Talks about a marine protected area started 15 years ago between the federal and provincial governments, but one of the major hitches was that the Strait of Georgia is one of the few areas where the seabed is provincially owned. The province has now agreed to hand over the seabed.

Provincial Environment Minister Terry Lake said the designation "will provide for permanent and rigorous environmental protection."


KNOW THE ISSUES IN THE MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS (Saturday panel at UVIc, non-specific sewage mention

Local vote a chance to exercise community-based democracy
Michael J. Prince
Times Colonist
October 14, 2011

There are simply a few common reasons why eligible electors do not vote. By comparison, both potentially and practically speaking, there are numerous reasons why people should vote, including in municipal elections.

How people think about municipal government - their core image or impression of municipal government - shapes what they expect from it and whether they may well vote.

If you think of municipal government as communitybased democracy in action, well, then, you already are predisposed to following civic issues and likely will vote in your municipal elections on Nov. 19. If you are heard expressing this view of local government in public, your friends, neighbours and even total strangers may regard you as quaintly naïve or hopelessly optimistic. Take no heed. In fact, ask them how they think about municipal government.

If you believe municipal government is little more than a provider of straightforward property-related services such as garbage pickup, street lighting, curbs and sewage, then you overlook the significance of such public utilities and infrastructure to a livable, healthy community.

Moreover, issues such as sewage are far from straightforward in the capital region. You may not realize that among those basic services are also libraries, parks and green spaces, and recreation facilities. All offer valuable public spaces and represent essential forms of social capital in everyday life.

If you view municipal government as like a business enterprise, a local corporation, then you may be apt to wish local affairs could be non-partisan; focusing on growth, effective governance, financial care in tax rates and debt servicing. From this perspective, you may be keen on exploring the amalgamation of various local services, such as policing, or transit, or even entire municipalities.

Be careful the company in which you share such thoughts. You will likely not hear many municipal candidates in the Capital Regional District loudly espousing such ideas.

If you assume municipal government to be constrained by provincial government laws, powers and cabinet ministers (and downloading of services), then you have some awareness of politics in our province. However, governments at all levels operate within constraints as well as opportunities.

It is how those constraints and opportunities are interpreted and addressed by communities and decision-makers when facing public issues. Just think, for a moment, of the safe-injection-site program in Vancouver and the federal government. And municipal councils can and do serve important functions in challenge, collaboration and scrutiny of provincial and federal leaders, programs and policy plans.

If you recognize your municipality and the CRD as a local government system of 13 municipalities forming a mini-federation political community, then you probably appreciate that local authorities have substantial complexity, some autonomy and notable capacity for addressing urban and rural issues in our growing and changing surroundings.

They do engage in planning, at a local and regional level, for example on transportation among other services. When you vote in November, you are voting for a given number of councillors and a mayor as well as one or more of those members to represent your municipality as a director on the CRD.

There are issues about the need for greater accountability and transparency in local decisionmaking processes. There are possibilities for examining closer collaboration among the municipalities in certain areas of service provision. There are, too, frustrations about delays and seeming indecision at times. Those are not unique, of course, to local government or to politics more generally.

Concerns persist about how to foster more affordable housing in the CRD and what to do about secondary suites in specific municipalities. On environmental matters, including sustainability and climate change, there are options worth discussing with candidates on how municipalities can continue moving toward energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, protecting agricultural lands and providing bike lanes, trails and parks.

So, think locally about your municipal government. Reflect on what your main impression and image is about local politics. Then consider talking with others; hearing their ideas; asking questions; learning about your candidates; and voting locally too, whether at an advance poll or on election day, Nov. 19.

- Michael J. Prince is Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy at the University of Victoria. Many years ago, he worked for the Office of Mayor, City of Toronto. Prince will be one of the panel members at a public forum - entitled The Future is Local: Make Your Vote Count Now! - sponsored by the Saanich Civic League. It will go from 1 p.m. to 4: 30 p.m. on Saturday in the Michele Pujol Room of the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria.