Media Statement: April 9th, 2014
Minister says “No Plan to Intervene” in Esquimalt Sewage Plant Re-Zoning
For Immediate Release
Victoria BC – In the House Tuesday Andrew Weaver asked the Minister of Environment, The Honourable Mary Polak, if the government had any intention of intervening over Esquimalt council’s unanimous rejection of the Capital Regional District plans for a sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point.
The reply from the Minister was – “We have no plans to intervene”
“The Minister has been consistent with her message regarding the CRD since I first raised this question in the House last year. She has no plans to intervene, and the program funding is available through to the completion deadline of 2020. “ said Andrew Weaver
Draft Transcript from Hansard, Tuesday April 8th, Afternoon Session, Committee A.
A Weaver: As the minister is aware, Esquimalt Council voted unanimously last night to reject the capital regional district rezoning request for McLoughlin Point for the sewage plant there. This comes, following considerable public engagement — four evenings of public consultation where only one person spoke in favour of the project, and many, many, many others spoke against it. The public consultation demonstrated there’s little, if any, support for the current plan.
My question is this: considering the CRD currently has no alternative site for the treatment plant and, in fact, Esquimalt have tasked staff with putting together information to rezone McLoughlin Point to not allow a sewage plant there, will the minister reassure residents of the region that the province will not intervene on the zoning unless the CRD proves all other options are exhausted?
Hon. M. Polak: I can assure the member that our position remains the same today as it has in the past. The federal government requires that they treat their sewage by 2020. This is an obligation that falls on the local governments. It’s unfortunate that they’ve reached this kind of an impasse.
I understand that CRD is meeting this week, perhaps even tomorrow, to discuss the implications. I’m not going to speculate on what might result from that, but we have no plans to intervene. We’ve said from the beginning that this is an issue that the local governments need to grapple with, understanding that they’re the ones who are obligated to begin treatment of their sewage. We have no plans to intervene
Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
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