The always contentious topic of sewage treatment in Victoria was put to the people tonight.
More than 400 people packed the Crystal Garden for a public meeting set up by the City of Victoria.
The meeting began with a city planner explaining the Capital Regional District’s proposed $1.1 billion plan that would see two treatment plants built to handle the city’s wastewater.
In Victoria, the proposed site is at Clover Point off Dallas Road.
The other would be built in Esquimalt at either McLoughlin Point or McCaulay Point.
The meeting was meant to focus on more general issues surrounding the treatment plant proposal,
but opposition to the choice of Clover Point was hard to miss.
“Here’s the message. We don’t want it at Clover Point, do what you like but move it somewhere else,” said Brian Lepine.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says she understands the proposed plan has its critics,
but insists the consultation process should not be reduced to arguing over the pros and cons of one specific site.
“We are likely to have a wastewater facility in Victoria, that’s pretty certain, ” she said.
“If there’s going to be one in Victoria, what do people want? what are the concerns? what are the benefits?”
The meeting was not a question and answer session with City officials, instead people were divided up into small groups to offer their opinions.
That wasn’t good enough for some.
“It was ridiculous, a waste of time, it makes me even angrier,” said Penny Lawson.
“Its almost as if they’ve already decided that they’re going to choose Clover Point and this is just going through the motions.”
The mayor insists that is not the case.
She says this marks the beginning of a consultation process that will go on for several months.