EDITORIAL: Business acumen could have helped

Committee members outraged by overview of the CRD's sewage treatment project

A group of people with good business sense gathered in a meeting room at Royal Colwood Golf Club this week to hear an overview on the Capital Regional District’s sewage treatment project.

This endeavour has been the subject of much derision, head-scratching and frustration over the years, as the CRD, and its member municipalities that don’t already treat their sewage, work to find a solution that will satisfy provincial and federal regulations.

Making direct and specific presentations to the business community is a step that, according to Westside Solutions co-chairs Carol Hamilton and Barb Desjardins, hasn’t been done enough during the whole process.

So, it wasn’t all that surprising to hear West Shore Chamber of Commerce president Doug Kobayashi, one of the friendlier people one could find in our area, use the term “outraged” when he and others in the room were asked for their comments on the state of the project or the details therein.

Consultants Urban Systems, hired to do the feasibility and costing analysis for the project, and Carrollo Associates, an engineering firm specializing in water and wastewater planning have been busy working on providing what the CRD has asked them for. Unfortunately, that hasn’t necessarily involved seeking out advice from the private sector on how to do a public-sector project like this one.

Urban Systems’ Chris Town, who gave the technical presentation Tuesday, admitted afterward there are an “infinite” number of ways to achieve the level of sewage treatment required under the provincial and federal guidelines. And he seemed open to some of the new ideas tossed out by local business people.

Many of the politicians making the ultimate decision on how to spend taxpayers’ money on treatment are not businesspeople. While many in that category are accustomed to asking for advice from people who are in business or management, it would have made sense for the CRD to seek out such people at the start of this second go-round at solving the sewage treatment puzzle.

Just Posted

Governing bodies accused of ‘destroying’ girls’ hockey by Island’s top team

When asked for advice hockey dad says ‘put your girls in soccer’

Guns could use smartphone-style fingerprint locks in near future

Startups looking to outflank traditional gun manufacturers using tech knowhow

Syrian violinist plays with new Canadian band at upcoming fundraiser

Sari Alesh played with the Symphony Orchestra in Syria for six years

Esquimalt to finalize township’s four-year plan

Council will soon make final decisions on its draft strategic goals and priorities

Sarah Beckett Cruise back for its fourth year this Sunday

Money this year is going into buying playground equipment for the playground in honour of the fallen constable

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

B.C. senior sentenced for sexually abusing special-needs granddaughter

73-year-old Cortes Island man will go to jail for three years

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Most Read