July 13, 2014


Audio-Visual News:
Brownoff on CFAX
Dejardins on CFAX
Desjardins on CFAX with Pamela McCall
Polak on CBC
- The RITE Plan's Youtube Channel

News stories:
Westside communities move forward for better sewage treatment
Cost-benefit competition - Win $1000!
Esquimalt residents get pitch in the mail to reconsider sewage plant
Talk 15 July: "Successful sewage treatment for small communities"
CRD to consider a new sewage idea
Frank Stanford's comment Friday July 11
Editorial: Polak created sewage impasse

Clark should intervene in sewage impasse (Ahlgren)
CRD not required to build sewage projects (Atwell)
Dual roles are part of CRD structure (Austin)
- Sewage concerns certainly concerning (Bickerton)
Peninsula tax money offered to Esquimalt (Cameron)
Esquimalt should support sewage plant (Crow)
Maybe Oak Bay should get letters from CRD (Donaldson)
Let Esquimalt vote on the real proposal (Harvey)
Smaller treatment plants the way to go (Jardine)
Esquimalt can be part of the solution (McConnell)
CRD mailing is disrespectful (Plasterer)
Look for solutions, don’t offer bribes (Schinbein)
View Royal favours regional sewage plan (Screech)
Ignore Polak’s threats on sewage plan (Stocks)



Audio-Visual News:

Brownoff on CFAX

Judy "throw good money after bad" Brownoff would love for Esquimalt residents to come to their senses and take her bribe:


What she hasn't told them that Esquimalt residents would have to spend $8.6 of it on barging.

At 2m47s Brownoff believe that Polak says that the existing agreement can't be opened up. There is no such thing stated in the letter. In fact, the minister lays out the steps necessary to amend the plan.

Brownoff's logic that a septic tank needs a backup which makes it expensive while the CRD can use the ocean for a backup is erroneous yet she's still worried about fine for discharging untreated sewage. How do you reconcile that?

Finally, the idea that changes to the project can't be accomplished faster than 7 years that it took Brownoff, could only come from Brownoff who is desperate to defend her record in an election year.

For the record, it's a failed project but it can be repaired but not with people like Brownoff at the helm of the S.S. Sewage Debacle.
Dejardins on CFAX

Podcast of the Mayor of Esquimalt Barb Desjardins who was the guest of Terry Moore of CFAX 1070 on 7 July  show:


Terry opens the show reading from the misleading TC article about the Minister's letter.

Desjardins on CFAX with Pamela McCall

Mayor of Esquimalt Barb Desjardins was on CFAX 1070 with Pamela McCall to speak about the CRD's plan to mail out a notice to Esquimalt residents offering them an $18.9m bribe.

Polak on CBC

Here is the CBC interview with Minister Polak 8 July On The Island program:


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

News stories:

Westside communities move forward for better sewage treatment

City of Colwood
7 July 2014

Following a meeting with Environment Minister Mary Polak in June, Westside mayors and officials have been meeting to discuss how they can follow the Colwood lead and develop wastewater treatment for the Westside region that meets both the federal and provincial regulations and timelines.

The proposed Colwood sewage treatment and resource recovery facility is shown here on the site of the park & ride at Sooke Road and Ocean Boulevard (artist’s concept).

In a very short time, Colwood has identified a site and is well on its way to having a fiscally responsible sewage treatment system operational by 2017 that meets high environmental standards and makes beneficial use of the resources.

The Westside mayors and officials are working together on the best way to build upon Colwood’s success and create a wastewater solution for the Westside region. Positive discussions are taking place while the other municipalities in the region continue to try to resurrect a faulty and expensive plan that died when it no longer had a site.

The Honourable Mary Polak,  Minister of Environment, stated in her letter of July 3, 2014 that she is open to receiving alternative proposals as long as any proposal(s) “clearly demonstrate that it will comply with the requirement to achieve secondary or better treatment within the prescribed timeframes and that there has been adequate consultation on the preferred option(s).”

The region has already seen great success with sub-regional plans for Saanich Peninsula, Sooke, and Saltspring Island. The proposed Colwood wastewater approach builds upon these models, has good public support and is on track.

Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton is eager to move forward. “If we are going to create a successful sewage treatment system in our region, we need to support initiatives that actually have a chance of proceeding - and we need to do it now,” she said. “Smaller sub-regional groups working on solutions in their own municipalities will give us the best opportunity for progress. It would be irresponsible not to pursue those options now.”

The Minister made it clear that there will not be an increase to the provincial contribution and that there will be no extension of the deadline for completion. The communities on the Westside agree - proper sewage treatment can be achieved within the current deadlines and budget if efforts are spent on finding solutions.

“I hope that my CRD colleagues will focus on moving forward in a collaborative and constructive manner, respectful of the member municipalities,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins. “We are looking for achievable options within both the timeline and fiscal realities.”

The plan currently being put forward by the CRD does not have the support of all CRD member municipalities, does not have a critical element – a location, and most importantly has lost the confidence of the residents of the district.

Langford Mayor Stew Young agrees. “We have now spent over $65M dollars on trying to force one big plant to work but have failed. It's time to stop looking for a single site, single approach and support communities that want to work cooperatively for an affordable, achievable and innovative solution.”

It’s time for our region to move on with a real solution.


Media Contacts:

Sandra Russell
Communications Manager, City of Colwood

Christine Houghton
Communications Consultant



Cost-benefit competition - Win $1000!

Esquimalt residents get pitch in the mail to reconsider sewage plant

JULY 9, 2014

The Capital Regional District will reach out directly to Esquimalt
residents with a mail-out outlining its $19-million offer to the
township to reconsider its refusal to locate a regional sewage
treatment plant at McLoughlin Point.

The revised amenity package would essentially cover Esquimalt property
owners' share of building sewage treatment. That means Esquimalt
residents would have to pay only the operating costs of a new plant,
estimated at about $125 a year for the average homeowner.

Victoria Coun. Geoff Young, who chairs the CRD liquid waste committee,
called the offer a "win-win" and said Esquimalt residents should be
given an opportunity to let their council know if they are interested.

"We are presenting Esquimalt with a very generous offer. They may or
may not accept it. I think if Esquimalt council elects not to accept
that offer, then they can discuss that with their citizens who will, I
think, ask the simple question: 'Why is it better to have a sewage
treatment plant downtown that we're paying for instead of the free one
at McLoughlin?' " Young said.

Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen said he was even prepared to sweeten the
offer further.

"If Esquimalt feels that this deal is not good enough and they want
some amenities, such as what I would call beautification amenities --
paths and bikeways and facilities to make it look better -- I would
even support that," Jensen said, adding that $500 million in senior
government grants are at risk if deadlines are missed.

But Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said her council's refusal to
rezone McLoughlin came after two public hearings and was never about
money but about issues such as the small site size, tsunami risk, and
rising sea levels.

"I don't understand what you're not understanding and how you are
wishing to subvert a normal process. If it had occurred in your
municipality, how would you accept it?" Desjardins said.

The CRD's attempts to move forward with the $783-million Seaterra
sewage treatment program have been frustrated by Esquimalt's refusal
to rezone McLoughlin Point for a treatment plant and Environment
Minister Mary Polak's May 27 decision not to overturn that refusal.

CRD chairman Alastair Bryson said Polak made it clear in a recent
letter to the CRD that McLoughlin Point is still very much alive as a
potential sewage treatment site.

"The minister is very clear that this site is not dead as some people
would like to have us believe. I have not seen any do-not- resuscitate
order on this site," Bryson said.

Some directors expressed unease at appealing directly to Esquimalt residents.

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin said he had "extreme discomfort" with
sending a letter directly to Esquimalt residents. "That just seems to
me to be one step too far," he said.

Saanich Coun. Vic Derman said the step would lengthen the process.

"It becomes almost an interference with the process of the
municipality," Derman said.

Saanich Coun. Leif Wergeland said he would like to think Esquimalt
council would appreciate the CRD informing their residents. "I don't
see it as being disrespectful," he said.

Over the past eight years the CRD has sent information to residents of
different areas when the sewage plan might affect them, Langford Coun.
Denise Blackwell said. "It's not without precedent. We've done this

Ultimately, CRD directors approved officially making the cash offer
and asked staff to provide information directly to Esquimalt residents
and solicit feedback from them regarding the offer.

Talk 15 July: "Successful sewage treatment for small communities"

July 15, 2014
5:30pm to 8pm

Royal Roads University Mews Conference Centre

A free event presented in partnership by the City of Colwood, GreenTech Exchange, Royal Roads University and Urban Systems Ltd.

More info: http://www.colwood.ca/news-events/community-calendar/event/successful-sewage-treatment-small-communities?mc_cid=b0050919b3&mc_eid=485cef9ba7
CRD to consider a new sewage idea

John Spurr
July 09, 2014

A meeting of the CRD's Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee today (Wednesday) saw a new motion put forth by Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton.

The motion, to be considered at the next meeting, would allow different municipalities to use a portion of a $400,000 pool to research their own sewage treatment solutions.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins supports further investigation of the idea.

"It's a great idea, it allows municipalities that are looking at options, like Victoria, like Westside, to then have money that they would either have to get from their residents or from the CRD."

The CRD's plans for sewage treatment have been in somewhat of a holding pattern since Esquimalt chose not to rezone the McLoughlin Point site.



Frank Stanford's comment Friday July 11, '14

July 11, 2014 6:30 AM from Frank Stanford

I'd like to be a fly on the wall when the CRD's latest letter arrives on the Environment Minister's desk.

In among the debates and the motions and countermotions over what amounts to a CRD plebiscite in Esquimalt; shutting down the Sea Terra project; (which they voted not to do by the way)  or offering it to any other municipality that wants it, was the motion to suggest the province take over sewage treatment as a provincial initiative.

We're stymied.  Here.  You do it.

You think this is grandstanding?  You think the CRD is playing chicken?  Should be more careful about what it asks for?  I think not.  The frustration at the regional board table is real.  I've been wondering for a couple of weeks now when we are going to start hearing about Directors' resignations.  It's that tense.

It seems to me the provincial government must act.
Esquimalt is not going to accept the CRD plan.  Period.  Ever.  I am convinced of that.  It's past the point where an amicable face-saving arrangement is possible.  The Region's direct appeal to Esquimalt taxpayers might find clear support, but even that won't persuade opponents who will challenge the legality of the process.

Somebody needs to break the logjam. Over to you Minister Polak.
Editorial: Polak created sewage impasse

JULY 13, 2014

It’s becoming harder by the day to understand what B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak is thinking. On one hand, Polak has made the Capital Regional District solely responsible for developing our region’s new sewage project — a scheme her government imposed over local objections.

But on the other hand, after the CRD spent years developing the plan demanded by the province, Polak refused to force it on an unwilling municipality. Her reasoning went as follows.

Residents near the location chosen for the facility — McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt — voiced strong opposition. The town council gave the project a thumbs-down.

On that basis, Polak refused to endorse the scheme, and left the CRD holding the bag. That might sound like a victory for local autonomy, and the minister indeed made that claim.

Yet what she has really done is create a near-insoluble impasse. She insists on a region-wide solution, but won’t take the heat that comes with one.

It was apparent from the outset — perhaps almost inevitable — that wherever the new facility is located, somebody is going to object. Who wants the entire waste of the region piped into their back yard?

Politically speaking, no municipal council could approve such a deal and expect to be re-elected. The whole point of making the CRD responsible was to avoid this scenario.

McLoughlin Point might well be the wrong site, but by giving each municipality a veto, which the minister has effectively done, the mechanism for producing a regional plan has been wrecked.

The CRD’s authority is undermined. Years of work and $48 million have been wasted. The chosen site, already purchased by the CRD, is now a useless burden on the taxpayer. And no one has a clue how to proceed.

It gets worse. The likely consequence of blowing up the CRD’s proposal is that one or more of the region’s municipalities will go its own way. Instead of a single cost-effective plant, we could end up with a host of small, inefficient facilities.

But Polak seems cool to that idea. In a letter to the CRD, the minister said: “Obviously, there will be public concern should a revised proposal include significant changes to the project agreement [such as an increase in the number of treatment plants] that increase its already formidable costs.”

Well yes. And who is to blame for that?

In practical terms, it appears the minister has only two feasible options. Preferably, let the CRD do its job and give it the authority to do what it was ordered to do.

Alternatively, bypass local decision-making and appoint an independent panel with authority to drive things forward. That’s a difficult choice, but at least the project might be completed before the budget goes through the roof.

This is similar to what was done with the Canada Line, Vancouver’s rapid-transit link between downtown and the airport.

No one liked such a heavy-handed approach. But the nettle was grasped and the line, required for the 2010 Winter Olympics, was finished on time.

Regrettably, the minister shows every sign of persisting with her passive/aggressive behaviour. Even as she lets long-worked-on proposals wither, she threatens financial penalties if her deadlines aren’t met.

And confronted with the shambles she and her government have caused, Polak implies the fault rests with local politicians for coming up short.

We would apportion the blame differently. As the saying goes, if you broke it, you own it.


Clark should intervene in sewage impasse (Ahlgren)

CRD not required to build sewage projects (Atwell)

Dual roles are part of CRD structure (Austin)

Sewage concerns certainly concerning (Bickerton)

Saanich News
Jul 7, 2014 

There are warning signs that the Seaterra sewage treatment plant they propose to build will not work as designed.

Throughout North America, problems within sewage treatment plants are being kept quiet.  Studies have found that antibacterial soaps are killing the germs that are meant to aid in the digestive sewage process.  Also, the hygienic sanitary “flushable wipes” are clogging the sewer pipes.

In 2013, New York spent $18 million unclogging the disposable wipes from within their sewer pipes. Another problem: there are plastic polyethylene microbeads that are used as exfoliates to scrub our skin, whiten our teeth and brighten our clothes. One single facial cleanser contains 300,000 of the microbeads.

In June 2014, Illinois banned the sale of microbeads, while New York and California are preparing new laws. Recent studies show that these microscopic plastic beads are not removed in sewage treatment facilities.

Presently, they accumulate at 80,000 per square kilometre on the seabed. Fish and other marine animals are unknowingly ingesting them. We consume aquatic marine life as part of a healthy diet. The microbeads also attract contaminants and toxic chemicals that stick to their surface as they do not breakdown or dissolve in seawater. Evidence will soon appear in our health care examinations.

Other warning signs being ignored are the fact that we are in an mega-earthquake/tsunami zone. While California is preparing to move it’s sewage facilities inland due to earthquakes, tsunamis, climate change and sea level rise, professional engineers at Seaterra are placing the Secondary Sewage Treatment plant just a few metres above the high tide line.

We are assured that the Seaterra plant will be protected by a seawall. As a taxpayer, I’d feel better protected if they placed a cement statue of King Canute holding back the tide along the McLoughlin Point shoreline.

Our consumer laws need to be changed immediately as we can’t change the laws of Mother Nature. The CRD’s professional engineers have dismissed the climate change warnings as just graffiti on the seawall.

Art Bickerton,

Peninsula tax money offered to Esquimalt (Cameron)
Esquimalt should support sewage plant (Crow)
(Crow is Georgia Strait Alliance scuba-diving scientistic stunt man):
Maybe Oak Bay should get letters from CRD (Donaldson)
Let Esquimalt vote on the real proposal (Harvey)

Smaller treatment plants the way to go (Jardine)
Esquimalt can be part of the solution (McConnell)
CRD mailing is disrespectful (Plasterer)
Look for solutions, don’t offer bribes (Schinbein)
View Royal favours regional sewage plan (Screech)