Task force’s work on waste management left out of plan

Saanich mayor takes exception with councillor's comments on sewage alternatives

Saanich Coun. Fred Haynes’ criticism that I failed to rally support at the Capital Regional District Board for sewage alternatives is inaccurate and misleading.

Before the project board was forced on the CRD by the province, CRD Chair Barb Desjardins had established an Integrated Management Task Force, of which I was a contributing member, with a mandate to develop cost-saving approaches to resource (waste) management.

We looked at innovative approaches to the management of liquid and solid waste and I personally engaged technology vendors and brought them to the attention of the committee.

Following this, presentations were made by several vendors, reports compiled and I made site visits to explore these technologies in depth.

This was the official process established by the CRD chair and sanctioned by the CRD board and the vehicle for myself and my colleagues to explore innovative solutions on behalf of the region’s residents.

Unfortunately the work of this committee was not incorporated into the project’s board business plan which has left open the question of why not, and hardly a failure or a failure to rally support: it was simply trumped by the province.

It must be noted that when delegates attending the 2016 Federation of Canadian Municipalities convention toured Winnipeg’s sewage plant, Coun. Haynes was notably absent.

He was similarly absent from the 2015 tour of the Enerkem commercial gasification plant outside of Edmonton which cost $120 million and will convert 100,000 tonnes of garbage and increase Edmonton’s waste diversion from 50 to 90 per cent by next year, when the plant is fully operational.

Richard AtwellSaanich Mayor

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