Hicks may challenge CRD sustainable strategy

Hicks claims unlawful discrimination for Juan de Fuca Electoral Area

Every man, woman, child and animal in a municipality is entitled to have access to safe drinking water, but residents in the Juan de Fuca are not.

That’s the issue that strikes Juan de Fuca Regional Director Mike Hicks right between the eyes, he said.

At the Committee of the Whole meeting of the Capital Regional District on April 29, discussion ensued on the draft Regional Sustainability Strategy. It is a revised and amended version of the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS). The RGS is a strategic planning document that addresses regional issues such as transportation, population growth and settlement patterns. What had been looked at, at the meeting, was a provision that no new water servicing would extend beyond municipal boundaries.

In it, municipalities are allowed to change their context statements and serve their whole municipality with water, the Juan de Fuca is not allowed the same privilege.

“I don’t have that right,” said Hicks, and it is what he wants.

There are currently about 400 families from the Highlands to Shirley who depend on trucked-in water delivery.

“The bottom line is I find it unlawful discrimination and against Section 15 of the Charter of Rights, which guarantees  equity and fairness to all Canadians,” said Hicks.

He said he would be demanding that all areas of the Juan de Fuca be defined by their boundaries and be potentially accessed for water similar to municipalities. Piped water is available in East Sooke, Otter Point and Port Renfrew.

In the Juan de Fuca there are seven Official Community Plan areas, one of which is in the Rural Resource Lands.

“I would not demand water for that area,” he said.

He said he isn’t screaming for more development but urban/rural sprawl should be determined by each community through their OCPs.

He said planning and zoning should not be done through water – which is a god-given right, and water should not determine density. Hicks wants to protect smaller water systems in the JdFEA, like Kemp Lake, Shirley, Mt. Matheson and others.

Some directors and environmentalists in the CRD feel access to water would increase density and create urban sprawl.

The irony, said Hicks, is that  the CRD endorsed a resolution adopted at the Association of Vancouver Island Coast Communities conference to support David Suzuki’s Blue Dot,  a movement to recognize every Canadian’s right to live in a healthy environment.

To pass, the RSS must be endorsed by every single council in the CRD and Hicks is counting on the District of Sooke to stand by him.

“The bottom line for me is if I fail to get the support from municipalities, I’ll legally challenge the RSS under the Charter of Right,” Hicks stated.

The debate will continue next month. The meeting was adjourned as legal advice is being sought on the legitimacy of the Regional Sustainability Strategy.

Just Posted

420 celebrations turn over new leaf at B.C. legislature

Cannabis is legal for the first time in the 21-year existence of the 420 event in Victoria

VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake returns to Langford

Annual fundraising event held from April 26 to 28

Report calls on Saanich to expand multicultural programming at recreation facilities

Report also notes that Saanich could do more for sexual minorities.

Victoria church bells toll in solidarity with Notre Dame Cathedral after devastating fire

Churches around the globe ring bells to honour iconic Paris cathedral

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Most Read