Former prime minister Stephen Harper was repeatedly criticized by his opponents for ignoring the science around global warming in favour of his support of ‘Big Oil’. He was vilified for putting his political agenda ahead of what was good for the environment. We now have many of these same Harper critics in support of secondary or tertiary sewage treatment for Victoria even though the science indicates there will be insignificant benefits to the marine environment. Sewage treatment proponents have yet to do a cost-benefit analysis so additional treatment may actually do greater harm to the environment than the status quo.
The hypocrisy of this is astounding.
Those that say further sewage treatment is unnecessary include Shaun Peck (former medical health officer for the CRD), David Anderson (former federal environment minister), marine scientists from B.C. and Washington state, and public health officials. These are credible sources that have no reason to mislead the public.
Imagine what could be accomplished if the same $1 billion were spent helping the multitude of cash-strapped service agencies in Victoria. We could truly benefit the environment by reducing the Colwood Crawl through mass public transit, or preventing pollution from urban runoff in storm water discharges.
Our local elected officials should stop operating from a political starting point, acknowledge the science, and challenge the upper level government regulations that require further sewage treatment. Victoria has a unique geography surrounded by tidal currents that make the existing primary sewage treatment a natural, environmentally sound and cost-effective solution.