Groups applaud leadership on Victoria sewage

Media Release: July 8, 2005

VICTORIA , BC –Environment Minister Stéphane Dion’s recent statement that he would like to see the city of Victoria, along with all cities across Canada, having a minimum of secondary treatment for its sewage is an important and welcomed step forward in efforts to reduce pollution impacts on our oceans from municipal waste, say local environmental groups.

“We are very pleased to see Minister Dion and Environment Canada taking a leadership role in working towards strong sewage treatment standards for all Canadian cities,” says Christianne Wilhelmson, Program Coordinator for the Georgia Strait Alliance. “It’s important that the federal government lead the way in bringing Canada up to the standards of other developed nations and in doing so, acknowledge that the current situation in Victoria is unacceptable.”

“It was great to hear that the Minister is open to finally enforcing the Fisheries Act,” says Jim McIsaac, Clean Water Director, T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation. “Currently, we have fisheries closed and ocean users at risk, and enforcing the Fisheries Act is key to ensuring that the CRD drops their strategy of studying this issue for the next 25 years and start planning for secondary treatment.”

The groups also welcomed the Minister’s stated willingness to create further infrastructure support programs to bring all cities up to the national standards.

Georgia Strait Alliance and T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation are members of the Victoria Sewage Alliance, which is made up of organizations committed to secondary sewage treatment for Victoria by 2010.