Reader provides alternate project list for CRD funding

Sewage treatment money could pay for many other worthwhile projects

Re: Capital Regional District’s sewage treatment plans

The $792 million (assuming no major overruns) supposedly available for sewage treatment could instead be spent on many useful things, such as:

– Fund the new Johnson Street Bridge ($93 million)

– Repair the E & N railway line ($25 million) and get a commuter train running from Langford to the new bridge. Another two trains could offer at least twice daily service from Courtenay to Nanaimo, and from Nanaimo to Langford, all timed to connect. (Call that $20 million; maybe revenues would even sustain it.) Better still, electrify it to reduce operating costs and fares ($50 million)

– Widen the Old Island Highway to four lanes, at least from Admirals Road to Helmcken Road, to alleviate the daily massive traffic congestion ($75 million)

– Build a bigger dam so we can end summer water restrictions and reduce the price of tap water so we can garden freely again ($20 million)

­– Create a website where citizens can initiate and vote on referenda, perhaps along the lines of American state initiatives or propositions ($10 million)

– Provide a rebate of $20,000 on each new electric car for the first 10,000 cars purchased ($200 million)

– Provide a $10,000 rebate for the next 10,000 “made in B.C.” electric car conversions ($100 million).

Compared to sewage treatment, how much real, serious pollution could be eliminated by such steps and how much irreplaceable fossil fuel would be saved?

The referendum website would reduce the present wide gap between government agendas and the real needs and wishes of the people they supposedly represent.

Craig Carmichael

Esquimalt