Pro-treatment candidate outvoted by others in Victoria riding

Other candidates either reversed or softened their positions on sewage treatment

Re: Sewage issue goes national (Our View, Nov. 23).

In conjunction with Monday’s federal byelection in Victoria, the arbitrary decision to proceed with the $780-million Capital Regional District sewage treatment project became a national issue.

All parties sent in heavyweights to support their Victoria riding candidates. By association, they and the parties adopted their respective candidates’ position on sewage treatment. Again the adage “all politics are local” is proven true.

Many taxpayers opposed plans to replace the present sewage disposal system that local scientists and technical experts say has not damaged the environment. As a result, all candidates except the NDP’s Murray Rankin either reversed or softened their positions on the need for immediate mandatory construction of a new treatment facility.

Rankin did not win the election with a majority, but with a narrow plurality. And he did not win because he supported the sewage disposal wishes of the majority of voters. Their preferences were evident in the results, with 24,478 votes for candidates that either opposed or recommended cautious review of the new sewage-treatment proposal, with 14,519 for Rankin.

Our municipal and regional government leaders should note these results reflecting the scientifically supported wishes of the electorate. Current sewage-treatment decisions will be long remembered by voters.

Of lesser importance, the brown-costumed excrement replica and former sewage-treatment mascot, Mr. Floatie, was recently removed from a Green Party event. That this former media darling now lacks endorsement from any political party is encouraging news.

The lack of demonstrated environmental damage with our existing sewage system must be a determining factor in long-term decisions. With the present screened outfalls, the only thing that can embarrassingly surface is an excreted born-again Mr. Floatie.

Let’s not subject ourselves to unwarranted fiscal expenditure and Floatie ridicule. We should cancel the proposed Capital Regional District sewage plan and figuratively flush both environmental ideology and Mr. Floatie down the toilet.

Ron Johnson

Saanich