CONTENTS OF THIS BLOG:
- A LOOK BACK AT 2012 IN VICTORIA (SEWAGE EXCERPT INCLUDES ARESST ACTION)
- CRD STAFF PRESENTATIONS NOT RECORDED - - CONCLUDING INFORMATION FILTERING INFLUENCES
CRD-RELATED SEWAGE NEWS:
- ADRIAN DIX YEAR-END INTERVIEW (SEWAGE TOPIC LEADS)
- CAN VICTORIA AFFORD ITSELF? (SEWAGE PROJECT EXCERPTS)
- BLACK NEWS GROUP COMMENTARY (SEWAGE PROJECT MENTION)
- MEMORABLE STORIES OF 2012 (SEWAGE SEQUEL SNIPPET)
A look back at 2012 in Victoria
December 25, 2012 7:00 AM
Now that the provincial and federal governments confirmed they will each contribute one-third of the estimated $782-million cost of building a new sewage treatment facility, area taxpayers start to think about what they’ll pay to cover the Capital Regional District’s share.
Estimates range from $200 to $500 or more per year, depending on where you live and the value of your home or commercial property. The announcement of the commitments from higher levels of government comes just before the feds mandate treatment for all metropolitan areas in Canada.
It doesn’t take long for the primary opponents of the plan, a group calling themselves the Association for Responsible and Environmentally Sustainable Sewage Treatment (ARESST) to come out swinging. Backed by former federal environment minister and Victoria MP David Anderson, they denounce the project as a waste of taxpayer’s money.
The group argues that the current practice of pumping screened sewage a kilometre into the Juan de Fuca Strait is not causing marine environmental damage.
Says Anderson of the federal regulations: “If the federal government decided to have the same snow-removal requirements for Victoria as in Quebec, we would call that ridiculous.”
CRD STAFF PRESENTATIONS NOT RECORDED - CONCLUDING INFORMATION FILTERING INFLUENCES
Since the first CALWMC meeting in 2006, there have been many reports uploaded to the CALWMC Reports website, and many reports, presentations (by contractors) and similar documents uploaded to the Wastewater Made Clear (WWMC) website.
However, there are no staff presentations by sewage manager Jack Hull on either of the those two websites.
Hull's powerpoint presentation which was made to inform the committee members about and immediately preceding (apart from questions mostly directed to Hull) the important motions at the 27 November meeting, is not available on either website.
CALWMC Executive Assistant Heather Raines informed email on 27 November, "We do not generally post staff presentations to Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee to the website."
Indeed, when Jack Hull did kindly email a pdf of his presentation on 30 November, he added in his email response, "I’m not aware of any of my staff presentations being posted on the website."
- So even though sewage project manager Jack Hull's presentations and his responses to CALWMC member questions preceed CALWMC vote on motions, there is no public record of this? If the sewage manager makes a mistake or is inaccurate, how can his statements be checked?
Its the "first-flush" fact-fail phenomenon as detailed in last ARESST News blog.
CRD-RELATED SEWAGE NEWS:
ADRIAN DIX YEAR-END INTERVIEW (SEWAGE TOPIC LEADS)
CTV Vancouver Island
28 December, 2012, 7:30pm
Dix gives CTV a year-end interview and first, brief topic is funding for the sewage plant:
Can't comment on the Youtube site, but you can leave comment on the CTV Vancouver Island facebook site (story is way down page):
CAN VICTORIA AFFORD ITSELF? (SEWAGE PROJECT EXCERPTS)
So, here’s the poser: What does it mean to say that the City of Victoria—a city with an annual budget approaching $200 million—has at least three-quarters of a billion dollars in unfunded capital projects? More pointedly, so this doesn’t seem too abstract, where’s the money going to come from for that seismic upgrading of the Yates Street firehall at a cost of $15-17 million? Or renovation/retrofitting of the Crystal Pool at $22.5 million; or the Johnson Street Bridge replacement at $90-100 million (even with $37.5 million from the Feds and gas tax funds); or a new wastewater treatment system requiring the City’s share of $800 million; or a $60 million new central library? Or seismic and functional upgrades of City-owned buildings at $40-50 million? Or renovation of parkades? Or?
And both the costs and cost-handling strategy of the stormwater (not wastewater) utility and much more remain both uncertain and un-strategized.
BLACK NEWS GROUP COMMENTARY (SEWAGE PROJECT MENTION)
December 28, 2012
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The sewage treatment discussion eased forward, with funding from upper levels of government confirmed and the potential impact on taxpayers revealed. Rather than demonstrating progress, for some residents it reawakened the debate over the environmental need for sewage treatment and worries over potential cost overruns.
The Capital Regional District's sewage committee laid the groundwork recently for the establishment of an oversight committee to keep things on schedule, but getting shovels in the ground is still a year away.
(no internet reference - only in print edition)
MEMORABLE STORIES OF 2012 (SEWAGE SEQUEL SNIPPET)
Jack Knox’s 20 memorable stories of 2012
December 30, 2012
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4) THE SEQUELS
Former Times Colonist writer Norman Gidney used to call them Victoria’s imaginary friends, the perennial issues we talk and talk and talk about without ever taking action: sewage treatment, the Malahat, ferries....
Much of what occupied us in 2012 is what occupied us in 2011, though in some cases — gasp! — stuff happened.
4A.) SEWAGE TREATMENT
Jeez, just when you think it’s over, the sewage debate comes lurching back from the dead like Glenn Close rising out of the bathtub in Fatal Attraction.
The dispute over whether Victoria’s $783-million secondary-treatment plan is a good idea took centre stage in the November byelection in which environmentalist New Democrat Murray Rankin (pro) narrowly defeated environmentalist Green Donald Galloway (con) for the seat vacated by the NDP’s Denise Savoie.
In late November, the CRD voted to stay the course with plans to have a treatment plant built at Esquimalt’s McLoughlin Point by 2018.
Oak Bay News
December 24, 2012 12:47 PM
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Now that the majority of our elected representatives have voted to push ahead with the building of an on-land sewage treatment facility, I would ask that each of them commit the following.
First that all costs associated with the building and operation of this new facility be passed on to taxpayers as an identified line item on their property taxes.
Secondly, that each municipality agrees to prepare a document outlining the various options to pay for sewage treatment. This should include options that range from simply raising property taxes to options that would see reductions to current service costs until a break even point is reached.
Finally these options should be sent out to all residents in each municipality with the option receiving the greatest number of votes being implemented.