Transparency advisory ready for public input

Wastewater committee approves terms of reference for oversight

Kim Cholette, Fairness and Transparency Advisor for the region’s wastewater treatment and resource recovery project, is ready to take submissions from the public.

The Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee perused and approved a report by Cholette during its Sept. 9 meeting.

Cholette will review submissions from the public to ensure that the process of costing the options, working with the host communities and preparing an amendment to the Liquid Waste Management Plan is fair, transparent, impartial and objective.

She will review the submissions, launch a formal investigation if necessary, and report to the committee and the CRD board on how the process could be improved.

Residents with concerns can contact her through a feedback form at crd.bc.ca/FTA online.

“Public engagement and feedback is an integral part of this planning process and we will continue to work towards being as transparent and inclusive as possible throughout this process,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, committee chair.

“Having a fairness and transparency advisor with the breadth of experience of Kim Cholette helps ensure that we address issues in a proactive, timely way. It means we will be able to continuously improve the process.”

The committee also OK’d the terms of reference for the new technical oversight panel to independently review the work of the engineering, business case, lifecycle costing and other project analysis.

“It’s another step forward as we get closer to making a decision on what and where. One of the important aspects of the project is oversight and transparency,” said Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen.

“All of these advisory groups both (the technical oversight panel) and fairness and transparency advisor will hopefully give the public a greater sense of comfort with the eventual decision.”

The CRD committee forwarded one aspect of the report – whether that transparency oversight should extend to the seven participating municipalities – to individual councils for review and feedback by Oct. 2.

“That’s going to be difficult for some communities such as Oak Bay to meet that target but we will do our best to do so,” Jensen said.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to find some time on the (council) agenda on Sept. 28.”

Council meets Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at municipal hall, 2167 Oak Bay Ave.