Saanich council including Coun. Judy Brownoff heard from the project board overlooking the regional wastewater treatment project. (Black Press File).

Saanich council including Coun. Judy Brownoff heard from the project board overlooking the regional wastewater treatment project. (Black Press File).

Councillor criticizes board overseeing wastewater treatment project

Coun. Judy Brownoff accuses project board of ignoring public input

A Saanich councillor openly criticized officials in charge of the regional wastewater treatment project.

Coun. Judy Brownoff directed her comments at members of the project board overseeing the core area wastewater treatment project. They include project director David Clancy and deputy project director Elizabeth Scott.

Brownoff’s critique came after the board had announced that it would change the alignment of a pipeline carrying residual biosolids from the future wastewater treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt to Hartland Landfill in Saanich to save up to 50 trees along the east side of Grange Road.

Residents had opposed the initial alignment because it would have led to the loss of those trees. This possibility prompted an outburst of lobbying by area residents, which culminated in the submission of a 380-name petition by former MLA and Saanich councillor David Cubberley leading a delegation of residents.

During this period, residents also charged the project board with failure to consult residents, and Brownoff seemed to go a step further by suggesting that the project board acted against whatever input it had received.

RELATED: Capital Regional District moves pipeline to save up to 50 trees

RELATED: Grange Road residents optimistic CRD will change pipeline plans

Brownoff said she had told concerned Grange Road residents attending an open house in late November to contact the project board, only to hear from residents a week later that the work was going ahead.

“I must say I was shocked when residents got a hold of me the very next week that the project board had gone out, ribboned trees [and] spray-painted sidewalks, and that there really hadn’t been any follow up on the [feedback] cards,” she said.

Brownoff said she herself was a “little bit upset” because staff had specifically asked her to tell residents to fill out the feedback cards on the implied promise that the project board would listen to them.

“So you can understand the angst that happened in the community, because they just didn’t think that even afer filling in [feedback] cards letting the project board know their concerns, they would be listened to,” she said.

This prompted Brownoff to ask the delegation how the project board would handle future public engagement forums.

“I want some assurance that if you are going to use [feedback] cards, that the residents do get some follow-up from you, and you don’t automatically go out and start working,” she said.

Scott said the project board does listen to feedback.

“In this case, the timing was unfortunate,” she said. Pre-construction started soon after the feedback had arrived and the board “entirely” understands the concerns of residents, she said. “We will make efforts to make sure that sort of timing doesn’t happen again.”

Scott also confirmed the new pipeline alignment would save all of the trees on Grange Road, adding she does not anticipate similar situations along other sections of the pipeline in promising to work with the public.

Mayor Fred Haynes praised the board’s response in also thanking council and area residents including Cubberley for their respective efforts.

Looking at the larger picture, the public heard the $765-million project remains on budget and schedule. Under the terms of the project, it must be ready to meet provincial and federal treatment guidelines by Dec. 31, 2020.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

District of Saanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke’s Amy McLaughlin holds Theodore, a bunny who will be going to a new owner in Nanaimo within the coming days if all goes will at an upcoming bunny play-date. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sooke woman looking to hop into bigger space for bunny business

Amy McLaughlin has rescued over 400 bunnies across the Island, mainland

Port Renfrew Fire Chief Dan Kuzman, left, and Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Director Mike Hicks, separated by two fishing rods for safe pandemic physical distancing, display the village’s new snowplowing unit. (Contributed)
Port Renfrew gets new snowplow

With equipment, CRD crew can clear roads following snowfall

(Black Press Media file photo)
Court-registered sex offender arrested for breach of parole in Langford

Cameron Ratelle returned to correctional facility after female youth approached at bus stop

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth in police custody after kitchen knife call

A knife was recovered during the arrest, no injuries reported

Marc Porpaczy said he’s glad he delayed his daily walk with his dog, Juno, after a car crashed just outside his driveway just before 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Dramatic crash highlights need for sidewalks, say Colwood residents

‘The residents have gone from frustrated to angry’

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

OPINION SIG
SOOKE HISTORY: Milne’s Landing CNR station

Elide Peers | Contributed Back in the 1920s, freight was often carried… Continue reading

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Most Read