- LETTERS: BEFORE WE SPEND, MAKE THE CASE (Wheaton)
- LETTERS: DON'T FLUSH AWAY MILLIONS ON SEWAGE (Pietraszek)
- LETTERS: SCIENTIFIC REPORT CALLED FOR COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS (Barr)
- LETTERS: SEWAGE DELAY ALLOWS BETTER PLANNING (Murdoch)
- LETTERS: TIME TO RETHINK TREATMENT APPROACH (Bellefontaine)
- LETTERS: SEWAGE PROJECT CARRIES HIGH LONG-TERM COSTS (Newcomb)
- RACE FOR COUNCIL POSITIONS HEATS UP AS PAPERS FILED (includes Gudgeon)
Reminder: ARESST Annual General Meeting 3 November, St John the Divine Church hall, 1611 Quadra St
LETTERS: BEFORE WE SPEND, MAKE THE CASE (Wheaton)
October 12, 2011
Perhaps Community Development Minister Ida Chong could reveal what economic, environmental, or social benefits have been identified that would justify spending $782 million on sewage treatment?
And perhaps Premier Christy Clark could tell us what economic impact the additional taxes we will all end up paying (forever) will have on our community?
How about everyone, especially our candidates for election, start demanding "Not another penny without proof"? What is there to hide? Nothing?
victoriatimescolonist/news/ comment/story.html?id= 926eb858-3af2-4ba7-a171- 5797faf04463
LETTERS: DON'T FLUSH AWAY MILLIONS ON SEWAGE (Pietraszek)
October 12, 2011
Articles on the sewage (mis)treatment project should have made a reference to the huge body of evidence that this project is not necessary - see www.rstv.ca and www.aresst.ca for details.
It is important that readers be properly informed of the impacts of this project. Hopefully common sense will prevail and our senior governments will decide not to flush $800 million down the toilet.
victoriatimescolonist/news/ comment/story.html?id= 6b47367a-2bd5-4c01-9cb8- e877baa558a5
LETTERS: SCIENTIFIC REPORT CALLED FOR COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS (Barr)
October 12, 2011
Having actually read the entire 2006 scientific and technical review noted in the Oct. 8 editorial, I understand why you state it makes a plausible case for more advanced and costly sewage treatment.
However, we already have a natural and effective treatment system: Discharge of screened sewage into deep, saline, well-oxygenated, fast-flowing water.
The review finds no scientific evidence of immediate, serious local or distant environmental effects, but concedes that continued monitoring is necessary with extensive population growth.
The review panel felt a cost-benefit analysis was involved. Did the perceived possible benefits to public health, the environment, and tourism outweigh the cost of additional and very expensive sewage treatment?
The panel concluded that sewage treatment in the Capital Regional District eventually might be necessary because of public sentiment based on "ethics, esthetics, or other factors that cannot be resolved on purely scientific grounds."
Given the above grounds the panel recommended the CRD might consider steps to: "confirm contributions from senior governments; identify sites for . sewage treatment and sludge management; refine estimates of costs of different treatment options."
Perhaps, given the current economic climate, the provincial government has done its own cost-benefit analysis and is having sober second thoughts.
Emeritus Professor Chemistry Royal Roads Military College Victoria
LETTERS: SEWAGE DELAY ALLOWS BETTER PLANNING (Murdoch)
October 12, 2011
(Includes BIG photo of Clover Point Outfall SIGN as attached)
Environment Minister Terry Lake's approval of a delay in sewage treatment construction should be regarded as a good thing, even by the strongest proponents of the CRD's treatment project.
Most of the planning to date has been driven by impossibly short deadlines, leading to the submission of ill-conceived or incomplete plans and questionable "business cases" with which even some CRD directors and staff are uncomfortable.
The Environment Ministry must be aware of these shortcomings and it appears that the plans have been approved on political grounds, not on technical merit.
An extension would allow time to rethink and reset the process, starting with a thorough cost-benefit analysis and a proper environmental impact assessment, neither of which has been conducted to date.
victoriatimescolonist/news/ comment/story.html?id= d711e8f6-95c7-46ed-ae49- cc7b42135a46
LETTERS: TIME TO RETHINK TREATMENT APPROACH (Bellefontaine)
October 12, 2011
Re: "Making a mess of sewage," Oct. 8.
No levels of government are rushing forward to fund the colossal $782-million sewage plan for Victoria.
That's no surprise, as the current plan is a colossal failure. Over $24 million has been spent planning a project that will not meet the needs of the region from the moment it's built. The CRD ignored the advice of its expensive expert panel and pushed forward with plant designs and locations that will not take full advantage of proven technology to recover resources and offset costs to taxpayers.
Contrast this with the recently approved plans for sewage treatment in North Vancouver. In this case the planning has been done at a fraction of the cost and the designs are centered on the full integration of solid and liquid waste treatment to maximize the recovery of valuable resources. Not only will there be beneficial resources to use, but this holistic approach will result in a sewage treatment system that will cost taxpayers little to nothing in the long run.
I do not want my tax dollars going to fund the CRD's out-of date and expensive plan. The provincial and federal governments are quite right to pause and question the current situation. Then they need to insist that the CRD develop a smarter and cheaper plan for managing Victoria's sewage. To do otherwise would be flushing a lot of good money down the drain.
victoriatimescolonist/news/ comment/story.html?id= 8ecfd2db-661f-4f94-85bc- 8052dc38734f
LETTERS: SEWAGE PROJECT CARRIES HIGH LONG-TERM COSTS (Newcomb)
October 12, 2011
Victorians should be relieved, not outraged, at the sewage plant project delay because it gives everybody an opportunity to review the science of sewage treatment in Victoria and ultimately quash this unsustainable mega-project that provides no measurable environmental benefit.
Oceanographers, biologists, engineers, public health doctors, health economists and others have reviewed the plans for the Capital Regional District's additional land-based sewage plant and have found that at the very least, there are much more important environmental priorities for protecting our marine environment.
In 1992, Victorians voted down this unnecessary sewage plant, but no further votes are permitted by the provincial government. It is also the provincial government that has allowed this project to advance with no oversight under the B.C. Environmental Assessment Act.
Every year and forever, the additional, land-based sewage plant would produce thousands of tonnes of sewage sludge and greenhouse gases, which are both negative environmental and economic costs.
As it is, every Victorian who owns or rents a toilet could be paying up to $400 a year because the price of this fiasco isn't only the projected building cost of $782 million, but also the $20 million per year to run the boondoggle.
Victoria agencies providing subsidized housing would have to increase their budgets to cover the extra costs of the sewage treatment, but that extra funding can only come from taxpayers too.
Future costs could emerge too, such as needing a new landfill sooner if plans to ship the sewage sludge to Vancouver cement kilns should fail and the huge amount of sludge fills Hartland earlier than planned.
victoriatimescolonist/news/ comment/story.html?id= 652072f4-31d0-4d53-a3ee- 73782d21f3a1
RACE FOR COUNCIL POSITIONS HEATS UP AS PAPERS FILED (includes Gudgeon)
October 12, 2011
Several incumbent politicians have filed their candidacy papers in recent days.
In Saanich, councillors Paul Gerrard and Dean Murdock both announced they will run again. Each was first elected to council in 2008.
Gerrard, who owns a construction company, has a long history of community involvement in the Gorge Tillicum area.
He was instrumental in getting the Saanich Centennial Library in the community when chairman of the Greater Victoria Public Library Board.
Gerrard said his priorities are to work on affordable housing issues, effective transportation choices and build Saanich's economic development and financial stability.
Murdock says the Nov. 19 election "comes at a crucial time for our community." Traffic is a "nightmare" and residents want more quality transportation options, including better public transit and proper sidewalks, he said.
Other priorities include investment in housing that is affordable for all families, supporting local farmers to reduce the rising cost of food and help sustainability.
The race in Victoria is thickening. Lisa Helps, executive director of Community Micro Lending, has announced her bid for a seat on Victoria city council.
Helps's platform includes: more citizen involvement and a public city budgeting process; neighbourhood-building through seed-money grants, greenways for walking and cycling and creating new recreation areas for families; revitalizing seniors centres; creating buy-local networks; building new affordable housing through innovative local financing options; increasing sustainability through regional transportation initiatives, encouraging local food suppliers, and fostering home-based and local businesses.
Victoria restaurant owner Shellie Gudgeon also announced for Victoria council.
Gudgeon, who has owned and operated several restaurants, currently helps to oversee the operations of Il Terrazzo Ristorante and Fifth Street Bar and Grill.
She says that the formula for a vital community is the same one she has used to develop award-winning restaurants: invest in your business and, at the same time, in the people who have made it successful.
In Oak Bay, business executive Kevin Murdoch has declared his candidacy for council. Murdoch's platform includes: building an official community plan that looks forward 50 to 100 years; making smart, long-term infrastructure decisions to reduce operational costs; providing political support for science-based solutions to environmental issues; protecting and building upon Oak Bay's community heritage; enhancing facilities for families and the elderly; and supporting tourism and local business.
Saanich school board trustee Elsie McMurphy will run for North Saanich council this time round. McMurphy has been on the school board for nine years and says her experience with the difficult issues will be helpful as a councillor. She wants to preserve and enhance the unique character of North Saanich. She mentions the Sandown racetrack lands as having "enormous potential" and said legalizing secondary suites and dwellings will help to provide affordable housing.
The Saanich board of education race has seen long-time Central Saanich resident Tim Dunford announce his candidacy. Dunford is a family-law lawyer who has been active on parent-advisory councils.
Peg Orcherton is running again in the Greater Victoria school district. She has served three terms and is a long-time supporter of several community groups.
victoriatimescolonist/news/ capital_van_isl/story.html?id= a264acc8-e957-407e-8c4d- e65e7fc26526