August 31, 2014

Audio-Visual News:
City of Victoria Sewage Plan Discussion 28 August
- The RITE Plan's Youtube Channel

News stories:
Councillor: Put sewage issue on the ballot
Saanich elections: sewage crusader Atwell runs for mayor
- STAG's Atwell Runs For Saanich Mayor
Sewage funding in jeopardy, Fortin warns
Frank Stanford's comment Aug 29 2014

Let residents vote on sewage plan (Ferguson)



Audio-Visual News:

City of Victoria Sewage Plan Discussion 28 August

Video of that Governance Committee 28 August meeting and discussion of the sewage treatment workplan starting at 2:00 hours mark with Geoff Young comments: 

at 2:15 hours mark, Fortin carries on from Young's concluding comment about funding possibly being in jeopardy. Interesting Fortin comment that while Victoria residents may be in favour of "sewage treatment" at $300 per year, not so many may be in favour at $900 per year.

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:

Councillor: Put sewage issue on the ballot

Tim Morrison says vote would prove Esquimalt backs council on plant

Times Colonist
27 Aug 2014, page A3.

Esquimalt Coun. Tim Morrison believes the township's residents are
solidly behind his council's unanimous rejection of a regional sewage
treatment plant at McLoughlin Point, and he wants to give them a
chance to prove it.

Morrison has called for three questions to be included on Esquimalt's
Nov. 15 municipal ballot, including one asking whether residents
support Esquimalt council's decision to reject the Capital Regional
District's zoning application for a sewage plant.

"It's a response to CRD directors who have attempted to create a wedge
between the council and our community," Morrison said Tuesday.

"As a councillor, I know my community very well. I know it much better
than any CRD director and ... I'll prove to the world that the citizens
of Esquimalt are very much in support of council on their decision
regarding McLoughlin Point."

Council will debate whether to include Morrison's suggested questions,
as well as Amalgamation Yes's proposed question on regional
amalgamation, in two weeks.

Morrison's other two questions ask whether residents support Esquimalt
remaining an independent municipality with independent legal authority
over land-use decisions, and whether residents support the
municipality exploring options to share some services -- including a
distributed or decentralized sewage-treatment system -- with other

The CRD has been frustrated by both Esquimalt's refusal to rezone
McLoughlin Point for a regional treatment plant and the province's
subsequent decision not to intervene and overturn the decision.

With a number of deadlines looming and about $500 million in senior
government funding for the project potentially at risk, the CRD was
prepared to offer Esquimalt $19 million, or about $200 a year over 25
years for every household.

Regional directors had even considered sending a mail-out directly to
Esquimalt residents outlining the potential benefits of the offer. At
the time, Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins called the offer insulting
and said her council's rejection of the plant was never about money.
CRD directors backed away from the mail-out plan.

Esquimalt is now exploring the idea of having a smaller tertiary
treatment plant in the town centre, possibly as part of its village
core revitalization, to handle its sewage.

Victoria Coun. Geoff Young, who chairs the CRD's core area liquid
waste committee, agreed that the $19-million offer hasn't seemed to
resonate with Esquimalt residents, so putting a question on the ballot
is unlikely to make any difference.

There was never an attempt to drive a wedge between Esquimalt council
and its residents, Young said.

"The attempt was to get Esquimalt council itself to reconsider the
question in the light of new information [that wasn't available at the
public hearing] including basic stuff such as what the plant would
look like."


Esquimalt Coun. Tim Morrison is suggesting at least three nonbinding
questions be put on the Esquimalt municipal election ballot in
November. The issue will be debated in two weeks. Voters will be able
to vote yes or no to each question. The proposed questions are:

* Following an extensive public process, the Township of Esquimalt
voted unanimously on April 7th, 2014, to reject the Capital Regional
District's Bylaw 2805 zoning application to locate the region's
centralized sewage treatment in Esquimalt. Do you support Esquimalt
Council's decision to reject the Capital Regional District's Bylaw
2805 application?

* Do you support the Township of Esquimalt remaining as an independent
municipality with independent legal authority over land-use decisions?

* Do you support the Township of Esquimalt exploring options with
other municipalities to achieve greater efficiencies by further
sharing some services with other municipalities including a
distributed or decentralized model of sewage treatment? Esquimalt
council will also consider including a question proposed by
Amalgamation Yes, a pro-amalgamation group:

* Are you in favour of reducing the number of municipalities in
Greater Victoria through amalgamation?

GVPL PressReader edition (URL not available yet)

Saanich elections: sewage crusader Atwell runs for mayor

August 28, 2014

A vocal critic of the Capital Region's plans for sewage treatment has announced he'll run for mayor in Saanich.

Richard Atwell says he feels the public is concerned about the way decisions are being made and thinks they want to see a fresh approach.

You may recognize him as the head of the Sewage Treatment Action Group. He's an engineer who has worked for Motorola and Apple.

Saanich has been served by the same mayor, Frank Leonard, since 1996.
STAG's Richard Atwell Runs For Saanich Mayor

Sewage funding in jeopardy, Fortin warns

29 Aug 2014
Times Colonist

With the Capital Regional District’s plans for sewage treatment in disarray, other municipalities in the province that may have a political advantage are jealously eyeing the project’s $500 million in senior-government funding, Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin said Thursday.

“In my mind, it [federal and provincial funding] is at jeopardy,” Fortin told councillors Thursday, saying he doesn’t understand the why some at the CRD board aren’t more concerned about looming funding deadlines.

“The provincial government has said that we will be doing sewage treatment by 2018. We have an order by the federal government to move forward on that. We’re also very well aware that the North Shore of Vancouver also has been ordered to do sewage treatment and their cost is about $500 million,” Fortin said.

“Let’s just say this right now. They have a Conservative member of Parliament and they have a Liberal provincial member of parliament. So as we flounder around in this region, unable to come up with any direction and move forward, there is the concern and the risk that that money goes over to those that have their act together and the need.”

Plans for regional secondary treatment have stalled since Esquimalt refused to rezone McLoughlin Point for a treatment plant and the province has refused to overturn the decision.

Fortin’s comments came as councillors discussed the next steps the city could take on sewage treatment in the wake of the regional stalemate. Fortin said there is no time to delay.

“My concern is this: I don’t think we can get anything done at the CRD,” Fortin said. “It’s almost like at the region it’s every man for himself.”

Councillors directed staff to develop a both a public-engagement strategy and a plan that will identify legally available options for local sewage treatment.

The plan will also identify technically feasible sites for Victoria-only systems with one, two or more plants. It will also consider a system co-operating with Saanich and/or Oak Bay.

The plan also calls for discussions with Esquimalt about the possibility of treating Vic West sewage in its proposed town centre plant.

Councillors agreed to have city staff participate in a sub-regional planning and cost study being proposed by CRD staff.

CRD staff have prepared a draft request for proposals to hire an independent manager to investigate whether sub-regional options can be developed for sewage treatment within the existing funding envelope, as well as timelines given Esquimalt’s rejection of a treatment plant at McLoughlin Point.

The independent manager would have no past affiliation with the current Seaterra program, the peerreview team or any other wastewater treatment study undertaken by the CRD. He would have a $400,000 budget to conduct an options study, according to a draft terms of reference to be considered by CRD directors next month. Staff are recommending the process be overseen by fairness and transparency adviser.

According to CRD documents, the study “will be used to determine if a preferred sub-regional option can be identified that: meets all the regulatory requirements, can be established within the approved funding envelope of $788 million and can be completed within the timelines outlined in the approved core area liquid waste management plan.”

- GVPL PressReader edition
Frank Stanford's comment Aug 29 2014


If the Capital Regional District has collapsed into complete dysfunctionality..."every man for himself" is the phrase Dean Fortin used yesterday...I have to wonder if it isn't the victim of a self fulfilling prophecy.

Certainly it has been popular for heap scorn on the CRD.  I have often cringed, when listening to somebody's harangue against the 'central government'...because that reflects misunderstanding of what the regional district is.
Most of the people who have called for it to be dismantled and replaced by a regionally amalgamated Council have got it exactly wrong.  A regional council would be empowered to ride roughshod over the wishes of its individual neighbourhoods, or boroughs.  Practice exactly the kind of tyranny the CRD cannot.
It is a collective...a place for the various communities of the south island to come together and consider the advantrages of doing certain projects jointly.
If at the end of the day they decide that they'd rather assert independence than  work together on a particular enterprise, everybody should be able to walk away with no hard feelings.
But over the years, quite frankly, some politicians have made careers out of blaming the CRD for any and all manner of ills.  It's become open season for vocal attack; some of it informed, some of it not.

Much of it should be redirected to the individual partners rarher than the structure.  It's not the sand box that's broken.  It's the kids playing in it.

This is Frank Stanford



Let residents vote on sewage plan (Ferguson)

AUGUST 30, 2014

Re: “Councillor: Put sewage issue on the ballot,” Aug. 27.

Coun. Tim Morrison of Esquimalt is absolutely right. The Capital Regional District remains impermeable to the truth.

It continues to ignore the fact that the vast majority of residents in Esquimalt support their local government, especially surrounding their decision on McLoughlin Point. Apparently, they need another demonstration.

The sewage issue is of huge importance in Greater Victoria, since it is the single most expensive project ever proposed in the capital region. A question such as “Do you support putting a single, central, secondary sewage plant on a site at McLoughlin Point with an 18-kilometre pipeline to a bio-digester at the Hartland landfill?” should be on every core-area municipal ballot in this fall’s election.

That seems unlikely, though, because many of our local politicians representing the CRD have already wasted $50 million on a proposal that never made any sense and is now impossible to implement.

Dave Ferguson