Saanich councillor questions project’s environmental impact

McKenzie-Admirals interchange will disturb sections of Cuthbert Holmes Park

The new McKenzie-Admirals interchange with the Trans Canada Highway will be built as a partial cloverleaf that appropriates a large section of Cuthbert Holmes Park.

The new McKenzie-Admirals interchange with the Trans Canada Highway will be built as a partial cloverleaf that appropriates a large section of Cuthbert Holmes Park.

include itself with Coun. Vic Derman’s efforts to work with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on measuring the environmental impacts of the upcoming McKenzie-Admirals interchange on Cuthbert Holmes Park.

The decision came on Aug. 22 when Derman received only one vote in support of a motion that included six recommendations asking MOTI to share with council how it will mitigate the project’s impact on Cuthbert Holmes. Derman’s plan was to have Saanich send a letter to MOTI requesting a new environmental study, something that has been lacking all along, he said.

Derman has been challenging MOTI since it declared on April 26 the $85 million interchange will use a partial cloverleaf, which will have the greatest impact on Cuthbert Holmes of all the proposed designs.

“I am a little bit disappointed, I understand there’s probably a reluctance [from council] to push too hard, and I respect the vote,” Derman said. “But if [MOTI] is doing it, then just tell us what they’re doing. I don’t want to go on blind faith. I think it would be to our advantage if they were talking to Saanich council.”

On May 11, council did support Derman in a motion that saw Saanich ask the ministry why a thorough design proposal by Gorge Tillicum Community Association wasn’t chosen. It yielded results, as GTCA president Rob Wickson received a response a week later from MOTI transportation planning engineer David Edgar, citing various reasons why the proposal wouldn’t work. But Wickson saw the response merely as a chance to discount GTCA’s ideas, as the proposal was also meant to work within the broader complexities of GTCA’s long-term transportation planning, he said.

That May 11 council session also served to polarize Saanich residents. Some voiced their opinion, which is shared across the region, that the overpass is long overdue. Others supported Derman, who felt the ministry could have done a better job of consulting and are rushing the decision to use a cloverleaf, which will encroach on nesting areas for migratory and native birds, and move the entire highway closer to the salmon-bearing Colquitz River.

To this day, Derman says MOTI has not corresponded with council about the project, which is why he designed the recent recommendations. MOTI did present to Saanich’s bicycle and pedestrian mobility committee in the spring, which did not endorse the cloverleaf proposal.

The NDP’s Rob Fleming, whose Victoria-Swan Lake provincial riding falls on the Cuthbert half of the McKenzie-Admirals exchange, said he is happy the government is finally doing something about the failing intersection.

However, Fleming also agrees with Derman that MOTI needs to follow up on a number of items including the environmental impact.

“I hope and expect that they do that in short order,” Fleming said. “The project is overdue but needs to be done right. The buffer to the schools [Spectrum and Marigold] and the incursion into the park are issues that need to be managed well.”

Derman’s proposed letter to MOTI, which council defeated on Aug. 22, would have outlined specific issues such as noise, light spillage, water runoff and more, all with an eye to mitigate their effect on Cuthbert Holmes and the Colquitz.

“I don’t want an adversarial relationship with the ministry but, as elected representatives of Saanich, it’s our role to make sure the end result is as minimal an impact on the park as possible,” Derman said. “Even if MOTI could provide a 3D model to the public, instead of the 2D models we see, it would be easier for people to visualize.”

 

Just Posted

Saanich Volunteer Services Society volunteers head out to deliver this week’s meals to local seniors. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
VIDEO: Weekly meal deliveries help brighten the day for Saanich seniors

Seniors are delivered nutritional meals by a group of volunteers every Wednesday

O.K. Industries is building a quarry next to Capital Regional District land, as shown in this map from the rezoning applicaiton. (Photo courtesy District of Highlands)
Millstream Quarry wins again in court against Highlands community’s appeal

Judges rule province not obligated to investigate climate change before issuing permit

Kidspace, which took over the YMCA-YWCA childcare centre at Eagle Creek Village, plans to reopen the Y’s fitness centre as the Eagle Creek Athletic Club in September. (Photo courtesy of Kidpsace)
Former Y fitness centre in View Royal aims to reopen in September

Kidspace taking over both the gym and the childcare facility at Eagle Creek Village

Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of BC Cannabis Store, welcomes shoppers to their Uptown location, opening on June 16. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Government-run cannabis store opening at Saanich’s Uptown

BC Cannabis Store the first for government in Greater Victoria, 27th in province

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Vancouver Island lottery players win $1 million and $500,000 in Lotto Max draw

$1 million ticket sold in Campbell River, $500,000 ticket sold in Nanaimo

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Most Read