Solar Colwood needs scrutiny

Re: Solar Colwood an affordable success, Letters, April 6, 2012.

Re: Solar Colwood an affordable success, Letters, April 6, 2012.

Pierre Vallee wrote that it was “with shock and dismay” that I wrote a letter to another publication criticizing Solar Colwood. It certainly is not a shock to me.

What a distortion for Mr. Vallee and other political operatives who are trying to show Solar Colwood as a shining success, to try and portray me as one of the implementers of the project while on Colwood council.

Almost from the time Solar Colwood began, I was a councillor who, in spite of my own support for clean energy, raised well-reasoned questions regarding the viability and efficacy of this program.

My fears have since come true. At council on March 26, the city engineer stated that only 25 solar hot water installations of the 150 required by March 31, 2012 in the Natural Resources Canada contract, had been completed. This represents 16.7 per cent, and contrary to any arguments that can be put forward by Mr. Vallee and friends, that is not a pass.

All citizens have the right to ask questions, including me. We will continue to do so.

I think it better if Colwood focused staff efforts and grant applications towards fixing our aging infrastructure, such as our roads and the Esquimalt Lagoon Bridge.

It’s time Colwood returned to core services and started giving ratepayers value for the millions they collect annually from property taxes. Stop tinkering with fantastical projects and get back to the basics.

In conclusion, I commend Mayor Carol Hamilton for supporting an external review of Solar Colwood.

I ask that she and the rest of council pay special attention to ensure senior management and council members, specifically, Judith Cullington, the chief architect of Solar Colwood,  do not attempt to influence or white-wash that review.

Ernie Robertson





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