Letters to the editor Dec. 12: transit, sewage, burning

Transit shows bad form; sewage questions remain; burning a better alternative

Re: Transit move shows bad form (Opinion, Nov. 28)

I am pleased at the Transit Commission’s unprecedented empathy toward the bus drivers union during contract negotiations. To have members of the transit commission speak critically of the management at B.C. Transit speaks volumes. Maybe the commission will now start questioning the facts and figures coming from B.C. Transit and cease its rubber stamping of transit management expertise.

If the Transit Commission is working toward gaining more authority over decision-making for transit, this would be a good start.

If memory serves me, when the smaller buses entered service with B.C. Transit an agreement was negotiated between the company and the union that stated there would be no interlining small buses and conventional on the same route and that if the ridership increased the work would go back to conventional buses. Increasing the size of the community buses was not an option. Also, B.C. Transit had the right to increase shuttle service by two per cent per year.

Kudos to Ben Williams for keeping his members working and the transit system running despite being continually “poked with a sharp stick”.

Joe Hronek




Sewage questions remain despite approval

Now that the CRD has approved the construction of the sewage pumping station, there is nothing that can be done to prevent this work from going ahead. I still have problems with the information that we have been given by the politicians and the press.

1)  This project is estimated at $783,000,000. This estimate does not include the second treatment station that we were previously told would be needed. This estimate does not cover the costs of pumping the sludge to a landfill. This sludge is extremely toxic. What are the repercussions if this pump line develops a leak?

2) What are the costs of running and maintaining the sewage treatment plant?

Very few projects of this size come in on budget. Unfortunately we are going to be paying for any additional costs over and above the $783,000,000. We will be lucky if the total costs do not exceed $1 billion.

3) What are the Federal regulations for the discharge of any sewage effluent?  The  B.C. and Washington governments did a study in 1994 and this study confirmed that our sewage discharge in PPM was less than the discharge from Seattle and Vancouver and these cities have sewage treatment plants. In 2012, are we still discharging less toxic waste than these cities?

Is this project being built for political reasons or for health reasons? I think everyone would agree a sewage treatment  plant would be required if there was a health issue; but no one is giving us all the facts. We are receiving a lot of personal opinions that are not backed  with any facts.

I hope that once this project  is completed, we are not faced with the largest tax increases that Victoria has ever dealt with. How many people will  be driven from their homes because of this huge tax increase?

John Skinner


Burning a better alternative to driving

Re: Burning season leaves reader steaming (Letters Dec. 5)

So I am one of those “three or four per cent that still love to burn” that council supports, and I would like to represent our side of the story.  First off, I live on a large property and every fall we prune our trees and hedges, clean up any overgrown shrubs, ivy and weeds and rake an enormous amount of leaves.  I burn all this not because I love to, but because it makes the most sense. To haul all of Langfords yard waste away by diesel sucking trucks would take days if not weeks, and who would pay for that?

All of us good people who take care of our yards? Perhaps your tax dollar?  Secondly, if smoke created by burning natural, organic matter is so bad for your health, what do you call all the carbon emissions and the enormous amount of fossil fuel energy needed to run all those trucks and process the compost at a facility?

Finally, who’s going to help me haul the mountain of material I have up to the road and leave it there until it gets picked up at the curb?

What a mess. Perhaps staggered burn days would cut down on the amount of smoke created all at once. Or maybe you should just stay indoors and watch a movie.

Suzanne Goudge