Capital Region has been down this sewage treatment path before

The provincially appointed sewage board seems heavily weighted on the business, management and theoretical side of matters

Conditions seem ripe for another Seaterra-type fiasco. The provincially appointed sewage board seems heavily weighted on the business, management and theoretical side of matters. Well, here we go again.

That was Seaterra’s Achille’s heel. Everyone was “just so qualified” and so busy managing and financing a nebulous, ever-elusive phantom sewage system that in the end amounted to sweet tweet. One hand did not know what the other hand was doing. Nimbyism and political feather-dusting added to the mix.

The province would have been prudent to appoint several more individuals with extensive scientific or engineering backgrounds to its sewage project board. People with such expertise with current hands-on experience could provide valuable basic knowledge. A scientifically based foundation for any chosen sewage treatment system is absolutely essential. Only then can the micro-managing begin.

The project board as it now stands is not as balanced as it should be. For many residents in the region a double-take moment came when it was announced that one of the new project appointees was the former Seaterra chair, described as an economics expert with experience on many corporate boards.

Seems all that experience did not serve us too well in the past. Dare we expect better this time round? Or can we once again expect taxpayers’ money to be blown away in the wind like so much dandelion fluff?

The project board is required to meet a minimum of only once in every three-month period. Hardly adequate considering the hot potato issue they are dealing with. (Hopefully they will meet more frequently.)

And then there is the matter of trying to keep the CRD (including the sewage committee) at arm’s length from any project proceedings. The CRD should be allowed at least observational privileges seeing that they will have the final say on recommendations brought forth by the project board. This would provide background information so necessary to CRD members.

Voting in a vacuum is not too wise. (A fly on the wall may be better informed than the CRD or members of the public).

Sylvia Walsh

Saanich

 

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