Volunteers deliver petitions

21-year sewer services deal opposition

  • Jun. 22, 2011 4:00 p.m.

More than 1,500 Sooke citizens have spoken loud and clear about their opposition to a 21-year sewer services contract between the District of Sooke and EPCOR Water (West) Inc.

With still a few days to go before the deadline to submit signed Elector Response Forms, the Committee for Fair Sewer Services for Sooke has received signed forms from more than the 10 per cent of eligible voters needed to send a message to the district to urge them to consider other options and get the best deal for Sooke.

The District of Sooke is proposing to enter into a 21-year contract with the City of Edmonton owned EPCOR. The committee was formed after a number of citizens raised issues about the proposed agreement.

“The voters of Sooke have soundly rejected the District of Sooke’s attempt to push through a 21-year multi-million dollar deal with EPCOR to operate our sewer system. I hope council listens and does not see it as a win or a loss, but rather an opportunity to really listen to the voters,” said Wendal Milne, chair of the committee. “They want to see an open, tendered process in conjunction with a true examination of an internal operation, in order to determine which option is best for Sooke.

While out talking to people on this matter, I was surprised by the interest and the depth of knowledge. Hats off to the citizens of Sooke for speaking out on a matter that is important to all of us,” Milne added.

Milne, along with several volunteers, has been visiting neighbourhoods over the past three weeks to see how people felt about this issue.

“We had tremendous response from the people of Sooke,” said Rick Kasper, former Sooke councillor and former MLA for Malahat-Juan de Fuca. “A vast majority of the people I talked to were aware of the agreement. Going door to door was a great opportunity to make a personal connection, and many people thanked us for delivering the forms – they were grateful to have had this opportunity to voice their thoughts.”

“One of our objectives in taking on this issue was to keep the public informed and get direct feedback from taxpayers on this important issue,” said Herb Haldane, Sooke councillor. “It is encouraging to hear that Sooke residents want council to do the right thing.”

The committee is submitting 1,500+ signed forms to the district on Tuesday, June 21.

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