Sunday, August 30, 2009

Will Sewers be the Line to Amalgamation?

The CRD is now preparing a report on how a municipality can leave shared sewage and start its own utility. Esquimalt and Colwood are interested already.

Judy Brownoff noted that Ottawa is under pressure from other cities to spend the money it’s committed for infrastructure projects.

Clearly it is more likely that the Federal government will pay more attention to a city which has its act together and can move forward, than trying to deal with 13 bickering municipalities which cannot do so. The fact that the CRD is now identifying how its member cities can back out is so absolutely counter-productive to the basic concept of working together for the greater good, that it raises the question as to whether the CRD itself is of any value.

Is this not like those areas of Saanich on septic? At some point, if you are going to put in services for an area, you need to tell everyone they have to hook up. You should not have someone on septic when the neigbour is on sewer. The cost to put in the sewer system is too great not to require that it be shared, for the good of all. Certainly one owner may say they have a perfectly fine system and do not want to hook up to a sewer. But the land will be there forever and as development grows, there are costs to living in the area which must be shared.

Perhaps that is the way to look at the whole issue of the cities here in Greater Victoria. Years ago they made sense, having been separated by long drives with little to connect them between the farms and forest. However as land development has grown and the lines between the cities blurred, it is simply time to acknowledge that there are costs to living here in Greater Victoria and you must share them. There are long term benefits to all, through cooperation and the implementation of consistent systems and services.

We as a region have developed to the point where we must logically be amalgamated. Hopefully the sewers will be the line to the Provincial will to make it so.

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