Editorial: Treatment foes must hound CRD

In 2007, the News had a discussion with a broad-based, highly placed group of scientists from the University of Victoria.

In 2007, the News had a discussion with a broad-based, highly placed group of scientists from the University of Victoria.

Focused only partly on the price tag of the Capital Regional District’s proposed sewage treatment system, they said the net benefit to the local marine environment of pumping treated sewage into the ocean, rather than screened raw sewage, would be minimal. Other more pressing problems, such as the loss of marine habitat due to development and the impact of invasive, non-native species – not to mention the effect of polluted stormwater – should take financial precedence, they said.

We believed them then and still find their arguments, and those of anti-treatment group ARREST, led by ex-Colwood mayor John Bergbusch and former medical health officer Dr. Shaun Peck, compelling.

While the CRD held open houses outlining a range of strategies for heeding the provincial mandate to treat the region’s sewage, there was virtually no public consultation around the actual decision to treat or not treat our effluent.

That is problematic. But with federal regulations stipulating wastewater treatment now in place, an extra set of regulatory eyes are watching how the CRD proceeds on this matter.

If, as former Victoria MP and environment minister David Anderson implied Monday at an ARESST press conference at Clover Point, the opportunity remains for the region to lobby for an exemption to the federal rules, based on a lack of scientific evidence supporting the benefits of secondary treatment, that needs to be determined as quickly as possible.

But for the feds to make a funding announcement for the CRD project in the high-profile manner seen last week, it’s clear they’ve made up their mind on this issue.

The Stephen Harper Conservatives are not in the habit of leaving much to chance when it comes to their public image. Pulling an about-face now, especially after coming out with new federal regulations so soon afterward, would make them look pretty foolish.

The role of the treatment opponents should now shift to keeping the CRD’s feet to the fire and ensuring hundreds of millions of dollars of tax money are spent wisely.

Just Posted

Double lung transplant gives West Shore man second chance

Co-owner of West Shore Barber Shop grateful for every minute of the 16 years transplant has provided

Hallmark movie filming in Oak Bay

Shooting for ‘Sunshine’ continues into June across Greater Victoria

City says traffic pattern on Bay Street Bridge will stay as is until October

Commuters began facing long waits on Tuesday morning after the east-bound lane was closed

Home where Proctor murder took place removed from Langford’s Affordable Housing Program

Langford woman almost purchased home, decided against it after hearing history

PHOTOS: Victoria youth continue to gather for climate action

Local students participated in a global movement calling for climate action

VIDEO: 76th annual Swiftsure sets sail Saturday

Longstanding competition takes off from Victoria’s Inner Harbour May 25

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterrey, Calif.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read