Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2012 09:37:13 -0700
Subject: Re: Upcoming Public Meeting
Hi Steve, I notice a number of misconceptions on your site about the CVRD public meeting on the 12th. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure a proper opportunity for public review and input on the SIA application, an opportunity that was not adequately provided at their open house. As you may remember, the participants in the open house called for such a meeting and I promised then and there that one would be held. Once proper due process has been followed and the Shawnigan public has been heard in open session, it will then be appropriate for the CVRD to take an official position on the application, not before. Please have a look at my website and the video clip which explains this at some length.
The meeting will provide for presentations from MOE, MEM, SIA with Q&A’ for each. This will be followed by an opportunity for public comment. If the meeting does not provide sufficient time for all who wish to speak, then the CVRD will convene a second meeting, likely in September so that the holiday season does not prevent full attendance. All this will be recorded and then uploaded to the CVRD web site for all to see and forwarded to the relevant ministries dealing with the SIA application. The CVRD is on record as requesting sufficient time for thorough public comment, as illustrated by Luc LaChance’s letter also on my website. Recently, Chair Hutchins and I visited with you to listen to your concerns and to catch up with your historical record of the Stebbings Road area. Your site suggests that your local government is not representing the interests of the Shawnigan public, but this is clearly not the case. Elected officials are expected to follow fair due process and this applies to SIA as well as any other business or member of the public that places a legal application before government.
The documents that you recently uploaded indicate the fact that the CVRD has been trying for some time to gain control of dumping in our watershed – something that is occurring at many sites in both the watershed and elsewhere in the region, not just those owned by SIA. The provincial government has up until recently refused to grant those powers to the Regional District, despite many such attempts over the last decade to introduce the necessary by-laws. The recent agreement with Minister Lake has at least opened the door for a serious discussion on how to increase legal local controls in a way that is consistent with provincial regulations.
Among other things, we have recently completed a further independent legal survey of the park boundary to determine the current facts about encroachment. With members of the Shawnigan Watershed Roundtable, CVRD Parks staff, and Shawnigan Parks Commission members I have recently walked the SIA perimeter and its confluence with Shawnigan Creek for a diligent first hand look at current conditions. There is much more to do and the CVRD is committed to protection of the Shawnigan watershed.
This is our response:
Dear Director Fraser;
What are the misconceptions about the July 12th meeting on our site Director Fraser? The public response has been as clear as it was for the proposed eco depot project. Why is it that the CVRD and in this case yourself have such difficulty reading the mood of the community? The community does not support the notion of continuing to pollute our watershed and providing a forum for SIA to sell their application to the province. This is not what the community wanted.
You seem mesmerized by the process you outline, but at odds with a basic meeting with you and perhaps a few other Directors to hear and speak with us, your resident taxpaying voters. We want you to hear and speak and be accountable to us not the applicant who wishes to cash in on an opportunity to dump up to 5 million tons of pollutants in our watershed. As I understand it the Province of BC is still the determining body, is it not?
You refer to the Shawnigan public being heard in open session on this matter before the CVRD can take a position. Are you making this stuff up Director Fraser? This newfound concern about the CVRD sensitivity to the thoughts and feelings of the public is touching but what are you talking about? If this is a public meeting, not entirely uncommon when applicants are considering zoning applications with the CVRD, then I must ask just who is paying for the meeting. Who is paying for the advertising? Why are you having all these ministry people in attendance? If you are going to have provincial people at the meeting bring Ministers Coleman and Lake not staffers. We do not want to know how it works from their perspective, we want you and your cohorts to tell the province to deny any application that might be before them, that is all.
I followed your suggestion and went to your website and viewed your presentation. Director Fraser you are confused. This is not a Public Hearing in spite of your statement on the video portion of your web site address. There is no set process here. This is made up by the CVRD for whatever reasons I do not know. We do not have to offer SIA an opportunity to speak to an application before the province. Why would we do that? You are advancing and defending a process which has no standing whatsoever.
The CVRD has opposed such dumping in the past why are you balking now? What has changed?
Steve and Jen
Shawnigan Creek Protection