A liquid-waste sewage treatment plant planned for McLoughlin Point will cut into Victoria’s already shrinking working harbour and discourage cruise ship tourists from visiting, says the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.
“It would be one thing if they were going to use it for something that was going to be water-related, but they’re not,” said Dermot Loughnane, acting chair of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, which owns and operates Ogden Point, Fisherman’s Wharf and Ship Point, among other ports.
An industrial ship dock or light industrial site for marine manufacturing are two example alternatives the site could be used for, Loughnane suggested.
CRD board chair Geoff Young said he recognizes the dwindling number of waterside industrial properties, but the advantages of the chosen sewage site are stronger.
“At the same time people have to be aware that moving (sewage treatment) facilities far from the water is also expensive,” Young said.
The harbour authority also worries the facility will be unsightly and repel some of the almost 500,000 visitors who come to Victoria by cruise ship every year.
“You only have one chance to make a good impression,” Loughnane said. “If you don’t do that, then they’re not going to come back.”
“We’ll try to make it as attractive, or at least as inconspicuous, as possible, given that it (will be) a big building,” Young said.