Sewage questions, we now see, urgently demand citizen input even to the very finest details.
Yet, were citizens in Colwood given the chance by ballot to offer opinion concerning the health of local government – the so-called amalgamation question? No they were not.
It seems the need for citizen input depends on what the issue is. Too bad because the feeble state of regional government has given rise to the sewage crisis. It is a glaring symptom of the failure of a government structure which does not have the power to solve problems that cross boundaries.
How can regional problems be solved when local issues always trump the regional? The answer, it seems, is to pretend – ostrich-like – that there are no regional problems, only local ones and these can be solved through talk and more talk until the problem goes away. No eggs need ever be broken.
Perhaps in another world. In this world the province needs to look at the regional district structure as it now is and ask whether this the best form of government for a metropolitan region of some 350,000 residents, with many complex and vexing issues that cross boundaries, not the least sewage. Thankfully the province does not need permission from anyone to ask this question and set out on the road with others to answering it. It should get busy.