LETTERS: A different approach to two large issues impacting the region

One resident offers his opinion on the region's sewage and homeless problems

I often think outside of the box… Here are my two thoughts for today, I would like your opinion on them.

One: Greater Victoria’s sewage treatment plant, why does it have to be on land? Why could we not put it off shore in the waters south of Victoria?

If you know the oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico or off of Newfoundland, they are all at high seas. I propose a treatment platform and it could save the city millions of dollars. Currently,  the sewage is piped off shore and dumped directly into the ocean.

With a sewage treatment platform all the piping is in place, meaning reduced infrastructure expenses. Even if there was a sewage spill, it would still be significantly better than the current situation.

Some of the benefits include: no land purchase required, the cost of a platform could be significantly lower than the land required for an on land treatment  site, piping to the platform site is already in place, treated effluent could be dumped directly into the ocean as it would be pollution free, no complaints from the neighbourhood about the odours.

Two: Victoria’s homeless problems.

BC Ferries recently sold off one of its old ferries after spending several million dollars to retrofit it. They received pennies on the dollars for it.

BC Ferries currently has several ships that are going to be declared surplus in the immediate future.

I would propose dry docking them at or near Ogden Point, within walking distance of downtown Victoria.

The demographics of the homeless is rapidly changing as we see more and more homeless seniors that deserve some kind of housing.

Some of these ferries are 457 feet long (139 metres), can accommodate 360 cars and 1488 people.

They also have a pet area, Coastal Cafe, Coast Cafe Express, Passages Gift Shop, Kidz Zone play area, two outdoor solariums, elevators and accessible washrooms.

Each of these ferries could accommodate at least 800 single bedroom units, a mental health unit, a first response medical unit, social services offices, outreach offices, restaurant facilities (no charge or commercial), classrooms, security/police offices, administration offices and rental space.

This could be duplicated in every coastal community that requires homeless shelters.

What do you think?

Robert Carson

Central Saanich