Here is a post from Saanich Coun. Fred Haynes based on the CRD vote on Wednesday.
Today, as one of your Saanich councillors, I voted at the CRD to proceed with regional tertiary sewage treatment at McLoughlin Point. This followed receiving the report from the independent advisory panel and its extensive review and discussion. Councillors from Saanich joining this 14:1 vote were my colleagues Judy Brownoff, Colin Plant and Susan Brice.
I based my vote on the much improved current proposal, the risk of losing Federal and Provincial funding, and the need to get on with this project which has been in some 30 years of discussion. While it has been a difficult issue, I believe this is the correct decision for Saanich and our region. It is a reversal of my efforts in 2012 to stop the Seaterra Project.
Stopping Seaterra in 2012-13:
As some may recall, when faced with the Seaterra Project for secondary treatment in 2012 as the Past President of the Prospect Lake District Community Association, and I actively joined with the new PLDCA Board and community members, Regional Director Mick Hicks and the folks of Willis Point, Barb Desjardins Mayor of Esquimalt, her Council and the folks of Esquimalt, and with people and groups across Saanich and the region to insist on the need for an improved plan. A plan with tertiary treatment, social acceptance, and an environmental cost benefit analysis. We also sought a full, responsive consultation on the impacts for residents of Esquimalt, and around Hartland as the location for the BioSolids treatment plant.
With the help of Lana Popham and Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, we raised a petition of some 2,200 concerned residents and submitted this to the BC legislature. Through community town halls here in Prospect Lake, informal gatherings, presentions at CRD, at Saanich Council, and at Esquimalt and by 18 months working with many others we were able to help Esquimalt Council halt Seaterra and send the plans for regional sewage treatment back to the drawing board.
I believe the result is a much improved plan. It has addressed many of the items raised by the residents of Esquimalt and the region. It is one that includes tertiary treatment, it is suitable for its location and is one which I hope receives the support of the Council and residents of Esquimalt.
Today, together with other residents in Prospect Lake and Willis Point around the Hartland Landfill, I await the full and responsive public consultation on the impacts for our area together with the information on the conveyance pipes to Hartland, and the BioSolids Plant these will feed. I have confidence this will be forth coming.
Especially the residents of rural Saanich and around Prospect Lake, Hartland and Willis Point, please contact me if you would like to discuss, have questions, or if would simply like more information.