Our take: Residents don’t want dump, the rest is just noise

To understand the latest furor to erupt in Shawnigan Lake’s ongoing dirty dirt saga, one must first understand the world before SIA.

In that world, the CVRD was leading an aggressive campaign lobbying the province to halt a steady stream of trucks dumping contaminated soil in no less than 11 unmonitored and unsecured sites throughout the region.

And directors were publicly speaking about providing a solution by identifying land that might actually be suitable for such treatment and storage.

So when Shawnigan Director Bruce Fraser and CVRD Chairman Rob Hutchins  arrived at a coffee shop to meet the SIA principals, one could see them holding out some hope SIA might be holding a solution to their problem.

Instead, it became the cause of another.

Conversations secretly recorded during that meeting show the local politicians seeming to coach the developers on what they would have to do in order to garner public support. And these statements have led to charges from some quarters that the CVRD was prepared to “sell out the community.”

Of course, the CVRD’s subsequent requested moratorium on the SIA proposal, its speaking out against the application prior to initial approval and its spending of your tax dollars in a bid to get that decision reversed seem to put a lie to that take.

But all this CVRD-centred rhetoric is just so much smoke.

Shawnigan is justifiably angry about what SIA is proposing. But ultimately the parties involved in the decision are SIA and the provincial government. That’s where community efforts and attention need to be focused.

The rest of what you hear — from CVRD politicians and their critics — is just politically useful noise in an election year.

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