The late Councilor Vic Derman was respected for his dedication to the cause of sustainability and the need to mitigate risks of climate change. He was strong supporter of need for reduce and to recycle and reuse of both liquid and solid wastes. One of his greatest achievement was that Strategic Plan for the CRD would lead a shift to integrated waste management (IRM).
His crusade include “support of systematic process of evaluation of solutions for combined liquid and solid waste management plans.” He strongly advocated that the IRM committee lead efforts by the CRD to search the world and investigate alternate technologies before issuing contracts for waste treatment at Hartland. For past 18 month they were doing so and would soon identify criteria for selection of suitable technology before soliciting bids.
Yet on Jan. 10 a small majority of the CRD board did the unthinkable and rejected their commitment to IRM. During a contentious debate numerous regional mayors including Williams, Ranns, Tait, Desjardins, Windsor, Hamilton joined our Mayor Richard Atwell and Coun. Colin Plant in a robust defence of continuing the search for innovative technology to integrate our waste streams.
Instead by rejecting IRM the board voted to step backward into separate waste streams while admitting they have no idea of how to handle either dried biosolids from sewerage treatment or organics. Instead of searching for new answers they found solace in antiquated solutions.
But unfortunately, even worse than a bad decision by the CRD board the cadre of local leaders led by Mayors Lisa Helps and Nils Jensen who repudiated the CRD strategic plan were supported by three Saanich councilors. Led by Judy Brownoff, chair of the Environmental Services Committee, along with Couns. Susan Brice and Dean Murdock, ignored the pleas of Atwell and Plant and voted against IRM. Remember these were the same group of CRD board members who wasted 10 years in endless debate over sewerage treatment and they struck again to take us backwards.
Vic Derman would have been bitterly disappointed in this betrayal by his fellow councilors. Shame on them. It is time for residents to reflect on this ongoing split in our council. In the upcoming elections of 2018 its time to bounce those who refuse to work as a team to represent our best interests.
James D. Anderson