Friday, April 24, 2009

Sewage is an issue for an Elected counsel of a Unified City

One of the most significant financial issues ever to be resolved in the Greater Victoria Area is going to be the issue of sewage treatment.

No one will be running an election platform on this, as it will be decided by the CRD, which we do not elect.

If we had a city that reflected the same area that needs to address its sewage needs, we would be able to elect people who reflected what we as a region support (Well that is the hope anyway).

But due to the fact we have 13 municipalities, which may or may not be part of a new sewage system the issue is in the hands of the un-elected Capital Regional District. While the members of this extra level of government are elected initially to various municipal counsels, they are not directly elected to deal with these issues. In fact someone who might have strong opinions and great strengths in dealing with the issues at the CRD, may never get to have input at that level unless they can convince the rest of their counsel to further vote them into that position.

Our region would be much better off having one city counsel, concerned about the entire region, making these decisions. Right now there is a significant probability that what ever happens, it will not be the best for us all, rather it will reflect political compromises to appease affected municipalities.

For example, when a suggestion is made that a single sewage plant located in Colwood might be best for the region, the response is not “lets consider that”. Rather, the immediate comments from the former Colwood Mayor are that it is “unacceptable” and that a much better model for treatment would involve smaller plants spread throughout the capital region.

We should have one to three elected counsels dealing with this issue. Not 13 independent entities voicing their “NIMBY” views, nor a result imposed by the un-elected CRD.

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