July 20, 2014

Audio-Visual News:
Karagianis on CFAX
Colwood's Hamilton on CFAX
Bateman of CTF on CFAX 17 July
- The RITE Plan's Youtube Channel

News stories:
In face of delays, Greater Victoria groups push for sewage cleanup
Local Opposition MLA's will try to break sewage treatment logjam
- CRD sends letter to province

CRD, not Polak, created sewage impasse (Brown)
Peninsula residents don’t fund core-area sewage (Bryson)
Province should give CRD power to act (Chapman)
Council following wishes of citizens (Lightman)
Reward politicians who do the right thing (Love)
Minister clear on CRD approach to sewage plan (Weaver)



Audio-Visual News:

Karagianis on CFAX

"The issue of a new sewage treatment plant for the Greater Victoria area is a big one with the CRD and Esquimalt unable to reach any kind of agreement on a potential site. NDP MLA for Esquimalt-Royal Roads Maria Karagianis told CFAX 1070's Frank Stanford the province needs to step in.

"I do think it's unfair for the province to say 'here's a bunch of criteria you have to meet and we're not going to help you meet that criteria, despite the fact that we can see that you've had some problems trying to come to a conclusion on this.'"


Karagianis says the provincial government would have an easier time getting the project built because it has more site options."

Colwood's Hamilton on CFAX

Earlier today, Mayor of Colwood Carol Hamilton and Mayor of Sechelt John Henderson were in the CFAX studios with Terry Moore describing the innovative Sechelt facility and Colwood's process to seek similar expertise to determine how they can achieve the best result for their taxpayers:


Listen to caller Jack at the end of the show (31m50s) explain his frustration with the CRD then listen the Carol Hamilton's reply:

"A lot of what we're dealing with always comes to the table with deadlines and timelines strapped and wrapped around it, so decisions have to be made now...if you don't do this it's going to cause "that" problem.

Report writing of what I call outcome written so that they lead to a decision making process that is ultimately..."

I can hardly think of a CRD meeting that hasn't been this way. Staff make the decisions for the directors some of whom (ahem Judy Brownoff on more than just a few occasions) work incredibly hard to justify the staff decisions instead of scrutinizing them.

Sechelt facts from the show:

Population: 10,000 people "full-time" residents with up to 15,000 including summer visitors.

Cost: $376/yr is the cost for treatment with the current worn out plant secondary treatment plant. The cost per door for a brand new odour and noise free tertiary plant with homes on three sides is the same price.

The reclaimed water will be used by golf courses, district parks and agriculture.

Fixed price contract. Not the JSB kind. The real kind! :-)

Bateman of CTF on CFAX 17 July

Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) was on CFAX 1070 with Bruce Williams to talk about their updated report on the sewage costs:


The CTF reports that any "savings" for Esquimalt to take an $18.9m bribe results in a subsidy which will need to be paid for by every other municipality.

In other words, if you don't live in Esquimalt but still within the core area, your bill would be going up and you don't get a vote in that and CRD won't be sending you a flyer telling you your bill will be going up because the municipal wastewater regulator don't require it.

If Esquimalt did take the bribe, it would have to spend $8.6m of it on barging costs. So much for "free".


Length: 8 mins

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:


Jordan Bateman
Canadian Taxpayers Federation
July 16, 2014

Seaterra’s proposed Esquimalt bribe should leave Capital Regional District (CRD) taxpayers Seaterr-ified.

With the $788 million sewage treatment plan reeling like a bloodied prizefighter on his last legs, the CRD voted last week to send a letter to every Esquimalt property owner, offering to pay a portion of the community’s capital costs in return for allowing a massive sewage plant to be built at McLoughlin Point.

The Times Colonist reported that the CRD believes this deal would bring the average sewage tax increase for Esquimalt residents down to $125 a year. But that number is wildly inaccurate – and should be considered by Esquimalt taxpayers as just more Seaterra spin.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) released an independent report by off-Island Certified Management Accountant, Sacha Peter, showing the CRD was grossly downplaying the true tax implications of the Seaterra scheme. Back then, the CRD’s plan understated the average Victoria homeowner’s tax bill by $579 over the first six years, Esquimalt by $555, and View Royal by $195.

Now Seaterra supporters want to add even more cost. With Colwood leaving the Seaterra plan and the CRD looking to charge Langford, Oak Bay, Saanich, View Royal and Victoria taxpayers for Esquimalt’s share, the tax increase for those five cities will be even higher.

Peter has run the new numbers for the CTF, looking at the Seaterra costs in two stages: the first six years, in which the CRD has promised a “phased-in” series of tax increases; and the ongoing annual cost from year seven on.

Over the first six years of the project, Victoria taxpayers can now expect to pay $1,920 in new sewage taxes – $680 more than the CRD’s lowballed prediction. That means as bad as the CRD’s predicted tax hike is, it’s going to be $110 a year worse for those first six years.

In year seven and beyond, once the Seaterra tax increases are fully phased-in, the annual sewage tax bill for a single family homeowner in Victoria will be $600 higher than it is today. That’s $50 more in sewage taxes per month, forever.

In Saanich, once the increases are phased in, property taxpayers will shell out $290 more a year. Oak Bay residents will pay at least $400 more per year. View Royal taxpayers are looking at a $320 annual increase, and Langford single family homeowners can expect roughly a $330 hike.

As for Esquimalt, the savings are nowhere near as much as the CRD claims. Over the first six years of the project, Esquimalt’s sewage tax hike would drop from a total of $1,640 to $1,480. That’s a drop of roughly a twoonie a month for those first six years.

And the ongoing annual tax bill increase for the fully built plan would drop by $80 a year to $430 annually. Some deal: instead of Esquimalt taxes going up $510 a year, it will be “only” $430. And the CRD expects Esquimalt residents to be oh-so-grateful for this “generosity”?

It is unfathomable that the CRD has refused to release detailed property tax implications for the Seaterra project. The CRD has had years to do so, yet taxpayers are forced to rely on numbers calculated by the CTF rather than being given the hard, honest truth by the government sending them the bill.

The CRD’s financial management of Seaterra has been Seaterr-ible since the start. It’s time for the regional district to give taxpayers the true, detailed cost implications of this massive plan, and for Esquimalt taxpayers to put the CRD’s letter in the recycle bin – where it belongs.

In face of delays, Greater Victoria groups push for sewage cleanup

JULY 16, 2014

Local politicians arguing over how to best treat Greater Victoria’s sewage shouldn’t lose sight of the environmental damage being caused by current practices, says a lawyer for several environmental groups.

Ecojustice lawyer Margot Venton recently wrote to Esquimalt council warning that its plan to rezone McLoughlin Point to prevent sewage treatment could mean local municipalities would have to bear the costs of additional environmental cleanup around sewage outfalls.

“It’s a reminder that there is a real environmental problem here. This is not just a bell and a whistle that is needlessly being tacked on to a city that is already doing a fine job of dealing with its sewage,” Venton said.

“This ongoing dumping of sewage into the ocean has caused an identifiable problem. It needs to be dealt with and also there is no cheap way of dealing with this problem.”

About 129 million litres of raw, screened sewage is pumped daily through long outfalls at Macaulay and Clover Points. A 2005 assessment of the seabeds around the outfalls found they legally qualify as contaminated sites under provincial law, Venton said in a letter to Esquimalt council on behalf of the Georgia Strait Alliance, the T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation and the David Suzuki Foundation.

While remediation of the contamination was not part of a 2006 provincial Environmental Act order, the Capital Regional District was directed to create a plan for sewage treatment.

If Esquimalt now blocks implementation of the CRD plan by down-zoning the McLoughlin site, the environmental groups will press the province for cleanup, Venton said.

Venton said her clients don’t want the underlying contamination being caused by lack of sewage treatment to be lost in the ongoing debate.

“To date, our clients have seen the implementation of a plan for sewage treatment as a reasonable means to address ongoing pollution at Macaulay and Clover points — however sewage treatment alone will not necessarily address the historical contamination,” Venton said in her letter.

“Should the mayor and council continue to delay implementation of the sewage treatment plan, our clients fully intend to press the government to also require remediation of past contamination at Macaulay and Clover points. The cost of any such remediation would likely be the responsibility of the municipalities.”

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said her municipality’s refusal to rezone McLoughlin and its plan to rezone the site to prohibit a sewage treatment plant there are not a rejection of treatment.

“We all want to get to sewage treatment. Esquimalt wants that as much as anyone else, which is why we all need to move forward,” Desjardins said, adding that a number of municipalities are now looking for alternatives to the CRD plan.

But Venton said her clients would take a dim view of the bylaw to down-zone McLoughlin.

“In our view, if mayor and council approve the motions before them, effectively blocking the implementation of the sewage treatment plan, they would effectively announce to the province a clear intention to not comply with the order,” her letter said.

The fact that the current CRD plans have now stalled is not Esquimalt’s fault, Desjardins said.

“The process has occurred the way it has,” she said.

“The CRD required zoning. They have zoning but it doesn’t meet their requirements. The province has said they will not force us. So the [Ecojustice] concern, they need to take to CRD or wherever, but it’s not an Esquimalt issue per se.”

Local Opposition MLA's will try to break sewage treatment logjam

Frank Stanford
July 17, 2014

B-C NDP Leader John Horgan says the provincial government needs to provide more leadership on the Capital Region's sewage treatment file...and New Democrats will try to facilitate that.

Horgan says the NDP...the party of virtually all of the capital region's MLA's...is going to play an active role...
“We’re going to be putting together a committee next week…an internal committee that’s going to try and wrestle with this…but my big concern about the provincial government is that they mandated this activity, and now they’re stepping away and saying ‘well you should figure it out yourself’”

Horgan told Bruce Williams on C-FAX today that his committee will try to bring together the province; the CRD; and the seven affected municipalities.
CRD sends letter to province




Peninsula residents don’t fund core-area sewage (Bryson)


Province should give CRD power to act (Chapman)


Reward politicians who do the right thing (Love)


Minister clear on CRD approach to sewage plan (Weaver)