April 13, 2014

- RITE Plan presentation to Esquimalt 14 April, 7pm
- Sign: petition to demand review of CRD sewage plan
- How it went - Ogden Point RITE Plan table
- Send: in your letters!
Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce on CFAX
Desjardins on CFAX
CTV and CHEK Reports on Esquimalt decision 
Cliff's Call" 100.3 The Q
April 7, 2014 McLoughlin Rezoning Finale
April 9, 2014 CHEK cover the CRD ask for Section 37
Blackwell on CFAX 
The RITE Plan's Youtube Channel

News stories:
Chamber says Esquimalt not sold on sewage plant plan
Esquimalt rejects sewage plant rezoning, aims to block construction
CFAX Polls on Provincial intervention
CRD mulls future of sewage plant
Editorial: Sewage plant’s future is murky
-CRD to ask province to intervene after Esquimalt sewage site rejection
B.C. environment minister loath to take on sewage mess
CRD Directors' 'blame game' simply more evidence of failed leadership
on sewage issue

LETTERS: Below see the 12 letters this week!!


RITE Plan presentation to Esquimalt 14 April, 7pm

"Opportunities for Community Sized Sewage Treatment Plants" 

Presentation (powerpoint too!) by Richard of The RITE Plan to Esquimalt Council's Committee of the Whole, Monday, 14 April, 7pm
in Esquimalt Council Chambers. 


Sign petition to demand review of CRD sewage plan

The communities have created a petition that we are sponsoring:


Every signature will be presented in the Legislature by local MLAs.


How it went -  Ogden Point table display

David Ferguson
Apr 6

It was another fine day at Ogden Point. Thanks for all the public support & thanks to today's troops - Ritual Russ, Major Tom, Marvelous Marsha & Busy Beth! Until next time . . . keep the faith!


- Click here to send letter to Focus


Audio-visual news:

Full video of Esquimalt rejecting CRD rezoning of McLoughlin (1:14 hours)

Here's the saved recording of the council proceedings that we streamed tonight:

Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce on CFAX

Doug Stroud, President of the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce and Bill Lang (former owner of Princess Mary Restaurant) came on CFAX with Terry Moore on Monday to talk sewage and lend their support for a re-think of the sewage plan:


Desjardins on CFAX

The Mayor of Esquimalt, Barb Desjardins was on CFAX with Ian Jessop at1pm to report on the reasoning behind last night's council decision and to give her perspective on the sewage project and the way forward:


This is leadership. Inspiring!

CTV and CHEK Reports on Esquimalt decision 

Cliff's Call" 100.3 The Q

April 7, 2014 McLoughlin Rezoning Finale

If you want to relive "that moment", here it is:

April 9, 2014 CHEK cover the CRD ask for Section 37

Richard Atwell
Apr 9

What I witnessed at the CRD today (and I set a new record for parking fees in one day) was just more of the same yet it was still stunning for me to witness...

A group of project weary, stubborn and sometimes even callous individuals sitting in our regional ivory tower who have completely lost touch with the public and what little process existed to involve the public.

They couldn't even wait one week to allow the public to have their say on a staff report that was delivered at the last minute. The same report that recommended the action to ask the Province to invoke the Section 37 "hammer" in the Environmental Management Act.

Look what they missed in their haste: NO means NO. http://youtu.be/M_8Giviu8MA

Here's the CTV version of the CRD's "vote of desperation": http://youtu.be/YK5IMblxqF4

Which CRD staff are providing the advice? The same ones that told the directors to purchase Viewfield Rd. against all common sense. Scary. Brownoff has taken the baton from Young who took it from Leonard and has fallen back to the fear of having to pay 100% of the costs.
Blackwell on CFAX 

"The tyranny of the minority" - Denise Blackwell on April 9, 2014


Another nail is the CRD coffin of respect of municipal righthood and the entire Esquimalt community.
Richard Atwell10:42pm Apr 9
CBC didn't post a podcast from my morning interview :-( but I made a backup recording while I was in the studio: http://theriteplan.ca/media/140409_CBC_Richard_Atwell.m4a
RITE Plan's Youtube Channel

Frequently updated with the most vital and interesting snippets that show the best and the worst of the CRD's sewage planning process http://www.youtube.com/user/theriteplan
News stories:

Chamber says Esquimalt not sold on sewage plant plan

James Gardner
April 07, 2014 04:54

April 07, 2014 04:54 from James GardnerAfter four public hearings that heard overwhelming opposition - Esquimalt Council votes tonight or rezoning McLoughlin Point for the region's sewage treatment project.

Last week the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Victoria sent a letter to Esquimalt Council encouraging it to move forward on the decision because of rising costs to taxpayers.

Speaking earlier with CFAX 1070's Terry Moore, President of the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce, Doug Stroud says that is not the sentiment in Esquimalt.

"The majority of folks inside Esquimalt are not buying what is being sold. That is the crux of the matter.  So, that in itself from my opinion is a really good indicator that something is busted with respect to the approach, or how the story is being sold."

If Esquimalt votes "no" tonight, the CRD is expected to ask the Province to step in and overrule Esquimalt and approve the rezoning.



Esquimalt rejects sewage plant rezoning, aims to block construction

APRIL 7, 2014

Esquimalt councillors didn’t just turn down the Capital Regional District’s requested rezoning for a sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point Monday, they rubbed the CRD’s nose in it.

 Not only did councillors unanimously reject height and buffer zone encroachments necessary to build the plant, they asked township staff to prepare a zoning amendment that would prohibit a sewage treatment plant from being built at McLoughlin.

“We have faced Goliath before. We are doing it again,” Mayor Barb Desjardins told a chamber filled with about 50 people.

“For me the answer is: ‘No.’ One more time just so it is very clear, because the CRD has trouble accepting answers from this community. The answer is: ‘No,’ ” said Coun. Tim Morrison.

Councillors received a standing ovation when they officially rejected the CRD’s application.

The decisions leave the CRD in a tough spot said Victoria Coun. Geoff Young, who chairs the CRD’s core area liquid waste management committee. “We’re caught between the requirement that we carry out sewage treatment — a requirement imposed by both the federal and provincial government — and the unwillingness of Esquimalt to host a treatment plant,” said Young.

Asked whether the CRD would ask the province to intervene, Young said that will be up to CRD directors who will discuss the decision this week.

Young conceded McLoughlin would be a tight fit for the plant but said: “Our engineers and advisers have suggested this is the best site we have. We’ve done enough looking and I really don’t think we’re going to find a better one.”

The CRD has been seeking to locate a $230-million sewage treatment plant at the site of a former oil tank farm at McLoughlin Point for more than a year. The site is zoned to allow wastewater treatment, but the CRD is seeking encroachments — a maximum of four per cent — into a 7.5-metre shoreline buffer and to increase the allowable height.

After public hearings in July, the municipality passed an alternative rezoning bylaw and began working with CRD staff to develop an amenity package to compensate for hosting the plant. Esquimalt was offered about $13 million in amenities, including oceanfront walkways, a million-dollar bike and path system on Lyall Street, public art, bike lanes, road improvements and $55,000 a year for at least five years.

But several councillors dismissed the suggestion that the amenities total $13 million.

Coun. Meagan Brame said Esquimalt shouldn’t be held ransom for mistakes make by the CRD. “They asked for these setbacks so they could fit the project into the site. Is it Esquimalt’s fault that the CRD bought a piece of property that does not suit its needs?”

An Esquimalt staff report noted that selection of any option other than approval means the province could be asked to intervene and there would be no guarantee the amenity package survives.

CFAX Polls on Provincial intervention

CRD mulls future of sewage plant

Staff recommends appealing to province to overturn sections of Esquimalt bylaw

9 Apr 2014
Times Colonist, page A3 (GVPL Pressreader edition)

From page A1 Capital Regional District staff are recommending directors ask the province to intervene in its impasse with Esquimalt over building a sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point.

Esquimalt council on Monday voted against rezoning height and buffer zone encroachments necessary to accommodate a plant, and asked staff to prepare a zoning amendment that would remove a sewage treatment plant as an acceptable use of the waterfront property.

The decisions leave the CRD’s core area liquid waste management committee, which meets today, with few options, said chairman Geoff Young on Tuesday.

Staff are recommending the CRD ask the province to overturn sections of Esquimalt’s amended bylaws.

“I suspect the committee will indeed see a need to ask the province to take some steps to intervene,” Young said.

Other alternatives open to the committee include saying no to regional sewage treatment and thereby contravening federal and provincial directives or returning to square one and finding another site.

“Other sites would have bigger impacts on residential occupants [and] they would be more costly,” Young said. “The negative reaction that came from Esquimalt, I think, would be duplicated in other municipalities.”

The regional district has estimated that relocating the plant from McLoughlin Point would add another $60 million to $100 million to the $230-million price tag.

“There really are not a lot of options open to us,” Young said.

“I hope that there is a decision made fairly quickly. As we spend more time making this decision, the cost of the project is likely to increase.”

The urge to get the issue resolved was echoed by Albert Sweetnam, project director for Seaterra, the civilian body overseeing the sewage treatment program. Sweetnam said that the procurement process has already started, with three bids under evaluation. “Our preference is really for the issue to get resolved as quickly as possible because as we delay, we cost the taxpayers more money,” he said.

“I don’t have a preference for how a solution is arrived at — our preference is just for a solution to be arrived at as soon as possible.”

Convincing any community in the region to accept a sewage treatment plant “would be very, very difficult,” he said.

Esquimalt will not allow a sewage treatment plant to be built within its borders, said Mayor Barb Desjardins. People from around the region spoke out against the McLoughlin site and the CRD must listen, she said.

“We need to come up with how we do this differently,” Desjardins said. “To continue down this path is to say the public is wrong. They were all very clear that this is the wrong place to put a sewage treatment plant.”

Esquimalt was offered a $13-million package of amenities — including walkways, bike paths and $55,000 a year for five years — in exchange for allowing the CRD to build the plant at McLoughlin Point.

- GVPL PressReader edition, no URL
Editorial: Sewage plant’s future is murky

APRIL 9, 2014 

What now? That’s the big question as the dust settles from Esquimalt council’s rejection of the Capital Regional District’s rezoning application for McLoughlin Point.

The council not only rejected the CRD’s application for a variance on the zoning already in place, but also asked township staff to prepare a bylaw that would make the waterfront site off-limits to a sewage-treatment plant. That reverses a decision made by the council in July 2013, to zone McLoughlin Point for wastewater treatment.

The application rejected Monday was for a minor encroachment into a shoreline buffer and an increase in the allowable height. The CRD could still build the plant without those changes, but it would add to the cost.

The rejection of the variance is not a surprise, given the fierce opposition of Esquimalt residents to having the sewage plant on their shoreline, but rescinding last year’s rezoning poses a new challenge for the $783-million regional sewage project. The CRD has no other sites in mind for the treatment plant.

The decision puts the CRD in a bind. The sewage project was ordered by the provincial and federal governments as a replacement for the region’s current sewage disposal method — piping it out into the ocean and letting deep, cold currents disperse the effluent.

Some opponents of the proposed project point to studies that show ocean disposal to be a safe method that allows the sewage to be treated by natural processes. They say the land-based system proposed by the CRD will cause more environmental harm than the current system.

Others are opposed to dumping sewage in the ocean, but think the mega-project is too costly and the region would be better served by a series of smaller plants.

Still others say it’s time to stop arguing and get on with building the new system as mandated by senior governments.

Without a scientific poll, it would be hard to say what percentages of the population these factions represent, but it’s clear what people in Esquimalt think. Sentiment expressed in public hearings has been overwhelmingly against putting the treatment plant in Esquimalt.

And who can blame them? What community wants to be known for having a sewage plant adorning its otherwise scenic shoreline? Who wants to live near a plant that processes poop?

The perception in Esquimalt of being dumped on by the rest of the region wasn’t helped when the CRD announced it had bought a Viewfield Road property as a site for a plant to process sewage sludge. The opposition from Esquimalt was instant and furious, and the CRD returned to its original plan to pipe the sludge to the Hartland landfill for processing.

In rejecting the zoning application, Esquimalt councillors were heeding the voices of their electors. However, if they approve a bylaw to rescind last year’s rezoning, that could amount to reneging on an agreement and could bring unintended consequences.

In March, Seaterra, the commission overseeing the project’s development, wrote to the CRD concerning the “irreconcilable gulf” between Esquimalt and the CRD, and suggested the issue be moved to a “forum where a resolution can be reached.”

That forum would be the provincial government, which has been reluctant to get involved in local negotiations. But the province decreed land-based secondary treatment in 2006 and perhaps it is high time the province got involved.

The clock is ticking on federal and provincial grants. More delays will cost all of us, including Esquimalt residents.

CRD to ask province to intervene after Esquimalt sewage site rejection

Daniel Palmer
Victoria News
Apr 9, 2014

Esquimalt council was met with a standing ovation Monday night when it not only rejected – but unanimously slammed the door on future proposals – for a sewage treatment plant on its shoreline.

The decision has ramifications not only for the timeline and cost of the Capital Regional District's $783-million project, but for the region's autonomy: The provincial government now has the authority to intervene and force rezoning at McLoughlin Point.

B.C. environment minister loath to take on sewage mess

APRIL 9, 2014 (appeared in 10 April edition)

The Capital Regional District will ask the province to set aside Esquimalt’s bylaws so the CRD can build a sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point.

But Environment Minister Mary Polak said she’s unlikely to get involved.

“Certainly, we will review whatever request they forward to us, but I am not inclined to intervene in what is, ultimately, a decision that should be made by local governments,” Polak said.

Polak said she has already offered to extend the provincial deadline, if needed. But she noted there is a federal requirement to begin treating sewage by 2020.

“They are obligated to find a way to comply with that,” she said. “That is a decision for the local government. They need to determine how they are going to meet that obligation.

“No provincial government should take lightly the idea of interfering when it comes to something that is legitimately within the bounds of a local government.”

A two-part resolution passed by CRD directors Wednesday asked for the province to intervene and, if it refused, to offer direction on how to proceed.

The CRD’s decision to ask the province for help came after Esquimalt council Monday voted against rezoning changes necessary to accommodate a treatment plant. Esquimalt councillors also asked staff to prepare a zoning amendment that would remove a sewage treatment plant as an acceptable use of the waterfront site — a former oil tank farm. Esquimalt’s decision came after public hearings in which more than 117 people spoke against the treatment plan.

But Esquimalt’s decision left the CRD in a bind. Under provincial order to build sewage treatment, about $9.6 million has already been invested in the McLoughlin Point, which is considered the best site for a plant.

Some CRD directors, including Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, argued the decision on whether to go to the province should be postponed to give the public a chance to weigh in. She said it was clear from Esquimalt’s public hearing into the rezoning that there is regional opposition to the sewage plan.

“Please understand this is your public that spoke. Don’t make a bad decision here,” she told directors.

But the motion to postpone failed both at committee and later in the day at the CRD board levels.

Victoria Coun. Marianne Alto recommended that rather than asking the province to set aside Esquimalt’s bylaws, the board should instead ask the province for recommendations on what to do next. After all, she said, the province created this situation by ordering sewage treatment.

“The province has dictated this years ago and given us very prescriptive rules which we have tried very hard to follow and we are now at an impasse,” Alto said. “I think it’s time now to go back to the province with an open-ended question. We agree with you. We need sewage treatment. We have tried everything we can imagine. We’re not there. What do we do now? Over to you guys. Tell us what to do now. We’ll do it.”

But with delays estimated to be adding $1 million a month to the cost of the project and the clock ticking on completion, directors felt they had no other option.

Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt said the dance with Esquimalt over McLoughlin has gone on too long.

“If we look at McLoughlin Point, it’s buffered from the residential areas of Esquimalt by federal land. It has the appropriate zoning. It’s former industrial lands and that’s why this committee purchased that parcel,” Isitt said.

NDP MLA Maurine Karagianis, who represents Esquimalt-Royal Roads, said she agrees with Polak and would “vociferously oppose” any attempt by the provincial government to overrule Esquimalt.

“The municipalities have a right to make their own decisions on zoning,” she said. “Really, this is back to the CRD to sort out their situation, and I stand by Esquimalt’s decision to re-zone the property and to make that determination and for the province to stay out of it at this point.”

Karagianis said the CRD needs to “go back to the drawing board” and either have more discussions with Esquimalt or look for other sites.

CRD Directors' 'blame game' simply more evidence of failed leadership
on sewage issue

John Farquharson
Open Victoria
11 April 2014

A tsunami of victim language engulfed the CRD’s deliberations on how to respond to Esquimalt Council’s  April 7th rejection of its sewage treatment facility application. Director Rice started with “..the fact that we’re here, the whole process was put in motion by the provincial government”. Director Blackwell followed with “It’s unfortunate that we’ve come to this place. But I do believe that we need to take this to the province who ordered us to take this on in the first place. The last time we spoke to the minister she said the plan was the plan”.

A bit later, Director Alto referred to the  province as “..the folks who have placed us in this position.” Chair Young’s contribution to victimhood was that “..I think the least bad option open to us is in front of us.”  That option was to try to get the province to force Esquimalt to accept its application.

LETTERS (12!!)

CRD structure should be re-examined (Amon)

Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce facts on sewage questioned (Wade)