Dear CRD area Mayors:
As a resident within the CRD for 29 years, and presently a condo owner in Saanich, I fear for my tax bill given the on going failures and machinations with regards to sewage treatment within the CRD.
To date $70 million has been spent and we as CRD taxpayers are already being billed for this on our municipal taxes. When I made some enquiries I was told by contacts within the CRD to brace myself for more wasted dollars and a strategy of once again trying to revive the McLoughlin Point sewage plant location. A position echoed by Bill Beadle on CFAX yesterday who claims the money wasted to date is more like $100 million and with a total project cost of $3 billion, an amount that if accurate is simply unaffordable for area residents. https://soundcloud.com/ian-jessop-cfax/august-31-2pm?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=twitter
The strategy I am told by my sources within the CRD is as follows:
- Let the current present process fail with further red tape and delays.
- Keep a lot of the current process unfolding in-camera away from public and media scrutiny.
- Let the public falsely believe there has been a positive and supportive public consultation process pointing in a specific outcome direction.
- Keep certain consultants of old plan still on the payroll as long as possible and make new contract commitments in-camera.
- Use time running out as an excuse to salvage a hybrid of the old plan and force it back to Viewfield Rd. and therefore justify that overpriced land acquisition.
- Portray any refusal of Esquimalt to zone for a smaller Viewfield Rd. Treatment facility as being obstructionist and try to influence Province of British Columbia to step-in and force a rezoning on that basis of deadline expiring etc.
- I was also told some within the CRD want to embarrass the Premier with our Cascadia neighbours to the South and to make it look like it is all this BC Government's fault for allowing untreated sewage to flow all these years unabated. Note the recent Seattle Times editorial on this topic: http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/editorials/sewage-treatment-victorias-constipated-political-process-needs-fixing/
- Preventing any viable alternatives to McLoughlin being put forward. For example, Saanich council has been preventing alternative site suggestions from going to the CRD. This includes a proposal by Vanderkerkhove on a site that is within the ALR and a proposal by MacNutt Enterprises on a site that is outside the ALR.
The key questions I have are the following:
- Have you completely removed McLoughlin Point from consideration a sewage treatment plant location?
- Have you developed alternative site locations to McLoughlin? If so when will these locations be publicly announced?
- Are you willing to consider direct submission for site locations from within Saanich given the obstructionist position Saanich council is taking?
I thank you for your due consideration of this letter and look forward to your detailed reply.
cc: Premier Christy Clark
Hon. Peter Fassbender