Incoming chair aims to rebuild trust in CRD

Sewage treatment and kitchen scraps the big hurdles heading into 2015

Restoring the faith of residents in the Capital Regional District is paramount this year, says Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen.

“There are a lot of issues that face the CRD, two of the pressing ones are sewage treatment and kitchen scrap composting. I hope to see some progress on both of those in the coming year,” said Jensen, who was elected chair of the CRD board last week. “One of the overarching matters I hope to deal with is the trust in the CRD. That has suffered as a result of some of the issues and I hope to restore that.”

Part of that process, he feels, is reminding people of the successes in the CRD.

“If you step back and look at the accomplishments over the years and put it in context, I think it does reassure people in most areas the CRD has done an excellent job,” he said.

The CRD parks program that boasts 30 parks hosting more than six million visitors a year is the “envy of other districts.”

The region features “leading-edge water treatment” with capacity to withstand back-to-back droughts and a long-term water supply on the horizon with the acquisition, and restoration, of another watershed adjacent to the existing Sooke watershed.

Finally, Hartland Landfill is a success in his own right, he says.

“We’re one of few in Canada to capture the gases that result from landfilling. Secondly, our very significant recycling program means virtually anything you have can be recycled at the Hartland landfill site,” he said. “By creating these recycling programs we’ve managed to divert nearly 50 per cent of our waste from the landfill. That’s a great success that the CRD has had.”

In the next one-year term as leader of the board, he expects they’ll find a solution to the kitchen scraps concern. They have 15 expressions of interest within or close to the region.

“Early in the new year we expect to select three or four to go to the next stage, request for proposal,” he said. After that they’ll select the most cost-effective and environmentally sustainable processor.

Sewage treatment being the second hurdle, could take longer than the one-year tenure.

“It’s really up to the board who we move forward but we’re heading down two tracks,” Jensen said. “One, the board in 2014 reached out to communities and First Nations to see if there was another potential location for a single plant. At the same time … to ensure we don’t run out of time and miss out on the grants, we’re exploring the possibility of an east side and a west side solution.

The west group has formed, and Jensen says he’s already met with the new mayors in Victoria, Lisa Helps, and Saanich, Richard Atwell, to discuss the prospect of developing an east side. “We’re certainly keen to co-operate among the three communities,” he said.

That kind of communication with partner municipalities and electoral areas will also be a key to restoring confidence, he added.

“I think it has been going very well. We have a website that contains a significant amount of information for people who are interested,” Jensen said. “I’m certainly going to make an effort with senior management to reach out to the municipalities and ensure that they’re fully apprised of what’s going on and deal with any questions or concerns they have on any or all of our issues. This is a partnership between the region and the 13 municipalities and three electoral areas.

 

“It’s important for the people who gather around the table to first and foremost wear their CRD hat. Shared services are done for the greater community and we provide over 200 of these services.”

 

 

Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read