Sewage plan taking shape

Saanich News
August 03, 2010

The Capital Regional District sewage committee moved closer to realizing the $800-million liquid waste management plan with two items on its July 28 agenda.

A plan to create a commission of six or seven people to oversee the sewage treatment project has been put to the province for approval.

Funding for the project, which will see a central treatment facility built at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt, is shared equally by municipal, provincial and federal governments.

The province prefers a corporate “arm’s length” structure akin to Vancouver’s Canada Line transit project, in lieu of a more transparent commission, said chair Judy Brownoff.

“I think we understand that and we both want expertise on this, but where we differ is on the commission model,” Brownoff, a Saanich councillor, said.

If the proposal is accepted by the province (and the amendment to the plan is signed off), the CRD will draft a bylaw and form the commission.

Also last week, the University of Victoria Environmental Law Centre brought forward a proposal for the CRD to revamp its stormwater management within Greater Victoria.

The recommendations, which include creating a rainwater management plan, were well-received.

Calvin Sandborn, legal director of the Law Centre, said the decision to help protect local wildlife and public safety was overdue.

“You can’t deal with watershed management with 13 fragmented jurisdictions doing it a piece at a time,” he said.

Stormwater management is part of the existing $800-million liquid waste management plan and funding exists to see it realized, Brownoff said.

“We want to see if we can pull all of those pieces together and now re-focus it into an integrated watershed management plan.”