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Greater Victoria, BC News


Date ArticleType
3/27/2014 Media Release
Open Letter to Mayor and Council of the Township of Esquimalt



March 27, 2014

Open Letter to Mayor and Council of the Township of Esquimalt

Re: Sewage Treatment CRD

Mayor and Council,

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce (The Chamber) appreciates the process that Esquimalt Council has taken to exercise its duties regarding the rezoning of McLoughlin Point. The process has been comprehensive and may have gone far beyond what is necessary considering the current zoning permits a wastewater treatment facility.

The Chamber accepts the regulation requiring sewage treatment and believes that the CRD needs to move expeditiously and efficiently to construct sewage treatment. We recognize that the project process has not been smooth but unfortunately in a public sector procurement, such as this project, challenges are common place. The Chamber would prefer an inexpensive plan and one that has less impact on the community but such a plan is simply not available. The Chamber did recently examine two alternative paths and found that neither were feasible. The plan to oppose sewage treatment and ask for an exemption from federal and provincial environmental regulations is contrary to national environmental standards and does not represent the stewardship for the environment our community believes is a core principal. The plan to have a distributed system at considerably less cost is, after our investigation, not feasible. As such the current Seaterra plan represents the best available solution for wastewater treatment.

It is important that the community proceed with the plan forthwith to mitigate the significant risks we face. The risks of delaying the progress on the current plan are:

1. Construction costs continue to rise and the likelihood and extent of cost overruns is increased significantly.
2. As the project has been approved by the CRD and construction has commenced, delays to the project will increase administrative costs.
3. Further local delays on the project risk not meeting the regulated deadline and may put federal and/or provincial funding at risk.

The project creates a significant economic opportunity in our region that represents hundreds of millions of dollars in construction activity and local jobs.

We are asking the Township of Esquimalt to approve the application by Seaterra for the McLoughlin Point site. We believe that the Township has more than satisfied its requirement for due diligence on this zoning application. We are not asking the Township to approve or support the plan for sewage treatment as that is significantly beyond the scope of the CRD application. Further procedural delays in the process will only serve to increase costs and increase risk for all affected citizens including those of Esquimalt.

Yours truly,
Bruce Carter
Chief Executive Officer


For more information contact:
Janet Crocker
Policy and Communications Manager
Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
Phone: (250) 360-3476

Bruce Carter
Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
Phone: (250)360-3470


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