Residents take action against sewage treatment in Esquimalt

Erin Cardone
Victoria News
July 16, 2010 2:59 PM

John Bergbusch and a team of Esquimalt residents are pounding the pavement this weekend.

Armed with 4,500 fliers with details and opinions on the Capital Regional District’s plans for a sewage treatment site at McLoughlin Point, the group are trying to rummage up folks to attend a special public meeting Monday (July 19).

Esquimalt council hopes to get public opinion on the sewage plan, which has already been sent to the province for approval.

“From there, they’ll come up with some sort of action plan based on residents’ comments,” said Carollyne Evans, the township’s manager of corporate services.

Bergbusch hopes enough residents will come to the Monday meeting that council chambers will overflow with people. A member of ARESST – the Association for Responsible and Environmentally Sustainable Sewage Treatment – Bergbusch is upset with the planning process and in disagreement with the CRD’s position that land-based treatment is necessary.

“We want to see residents out at the meeting to give council the ammunition to say ’absolutely not’ (to the McLoughlin site),” he said on a break from distributing pamphlets.

He added he’s confident a major groundswell could change CRD board members’ minds on the issue.

“I believe ultim the CRD board and Minister (of Environment Barry Penner) will come to their senses.”

ARESST isn’t the only group opposed to a sole sewage treatment facility at McLoughlin Point.

“We feel quite slighted by the CRD and we support Esquimalt council in its efforts to hold the CRD accountable,” said Tim Morrison of the Esquimalt Residents’ Association. “The residents of Esquimalt are united with council in opposition to the CRD and in outrage to the way the CRD is ramming through a project that has received no meaningful consultation and no input from the people that are the most negatively impacted.”

The township’s mayor and councillors have all spoken strongly against the CRD’s sewage plan.

The meeting is at Esquimalt council chambers, 1229 Esquimalt Rd., 7-9 p.m. on Monday, July 19. To contact Bergbusch, call 250-532-2600.