I would greatly appreciate the opportunity of answering the criticisms of three of my constituents in last week’s paper. In answering Mr. Read’s letter, I am trying to persuade B.C. Hydro and the Sunro copper mine to treat the leachate in the Jordon River and restore the pink, chum, coho, steelhead and sea-run cutthroat trout that the Jordon River traditionally supported.
To that end, I have contacted Honourable Steve Thomson, Minister of Natural Resources and have requested his intervention. MLA John Horgan and MP Randall Garrison have now joined the cause and I am confident that we will either restore the run or ask B.C. Hydro to help in other restoration projects throughout the Juan de Fuca.
Ms. Alcock infers that I am cooking up a backroom deal with Ender lkay to help further his profit margin. The backroom she refers to is located in the CRD building in Victoria on the third floor. Mayor Christoper Caustin, myself and two CRD staff met with Mr. llkay. As the CRD does not have any funds available, I asked Mr. llkay if he would be interested in exchanging his Marine Trail Holdings Land for some of our excess CRD Park land. This idea has been considered and dismissed by all parties.
I will continue, regardless of the election outcome to try and preserve the lands buffering the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail and the Pacific Circle Route. This will only come about with respectful consultation and negotiation with all levels of government, the Pacheedaht, public groups and Mr. llkay. It will not be resolved with confrontation and mis-information.
Mrs. Pogue is upset that I appointed Neil Smith , a “blaster” to replace Dr. Grundy on the Land Use Committee representing East Sooke. My job was to find the most qualified person to represent East Sooke on issues involving land use. The job entails understanding planning staff reports, geo-tech reports, steep slopes and so forth. Neil Smith deals with these matters on a daily basis with his company HHS Drilling and Blasting and having lived in the area for most of his life, knows virtually every inch of land in East Sooke. He attended every meeting, was fully prepared, and used his knowledge to make fair and informed decisions on variances and re-zoning applications throughout the Juan de Fuca.
I have no doubt that the unsuccessful candidate that Ms. Pogue refers to would have been a good representative of East Sooke. Neil has been exceptional. East Sooke now has a choice of two good candidates for Land Use Committee, including Neil and hopefully the choice of the East Sooke residents will not move away causing the Regional Director to appoint mid-term.
I appreciate that we are in an election and supporters of my opponent are doing their best to support their candidate, including letters to the editor. I hope when it is all over, regardless of the outcome, we will again come together and work for the betterment of the Juan de Fuca.