SEWAGE IN THE CRD Letters: Esquimalt resident says CRD mistrusted

Past experience with McLoughlin Point leads to lack of trust in regional body

I’m very glad to see you are doing a more in-depth series on the sewage treatment issue.

Although you may well be covering it in one of the next articles, I noticed your timeline is missing what is probably the biggest bone of contention with Esquimalt residents about this project. You mentioned that STAG asked for the plant to be moved to McLoughlin Point, but didn’t note that this was intended for one of multiple small plants in a modern tertiary distributed system. Missing entirely is the CRD’s unilateral decision to put all the treatment in one secondary centralized plant at McLoughlin.

There was no consultation with citizens or even council prior to this change being made. Up to that point, most local residents (excluding ‘no-treatment’ people, who are a minority) were not opposed to hosting one of several modern plants. Hosting the entire system as secondary only (plus the solids plant at Viewfield which you noted) was not acceptable to those in the neighbourhood, which has only residential road access past the local elementary school.

Too little space, too much traffic, too much disruption, too close to Macaulay elementary, less than 300 metres to DND married quarters, too many worries about dated secondary technology and zero willingness by the CRD to address any of these issues.

These details might seem small, but they, along with the fact that McLoughlin is in a tsunami zone, are the main reason the rezoning was refused. There are still many of us who would be happy to host a smaller neighbourhood-friendly tertiary plant, but the past few years of being continually out-voted by other municipalities in order to force us to take the whole thing has turned many citizens against having any plant at all – they simply don’t trust the CRD anymore.

The one thing everyone can agree on is that the last few years have been a monumental waste of time and money, with incompetence only being outdone by PR budgets.

Meagan Klaassen

Esquimalt

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