City councillor Ziggy Stewart tells landfill opponents that he won’t be “pushed around” at last Thursday’s meeting of the regional district’s Solid Waste Management Committee.

Councillor won’t be ‘pushed around’ on landfill decision

In spite of public opposition, city councillors intend to see the completion of a report on the potential of a new landfill and waste-to-energy operation at the former Elk Falls paper mill

In spite of public opposition, city councillors intend to see the completion of a report on the potential of a new landfill and waste-to-energy operation at the former Elk Falls paper mill.

“I didn’t say it was going to happen…I want see what’s best for Campbell River,” said Coun. Ziggy Stewart, who was clearly agitated by the opponents.

Typically, few people attend the regular meetings of the Solid Waste Management Committee. But last Thursday afternoon at the Maritime Heritage Centre, approximately 70 people came out to oppose Catalyst Paper’s Elk Falls mill as a potential site.

“There are streams on the Catalyst land, on the west side of the highway, and this land slopes down to the ocean and this will affect all aquatic life,” said Corrine Matheson, who led the public delegation. “Odour, pollutants, dust, smoke, noise and vibration will be noticed by all nearby residents.”

Matheson, along with many of the opponents, lives near the mill’s ash dump which is being evaluated as a potential new regional landfill. The current landfill site on Argonaut Road is nearing capacity and is slated to close next year, along with smaller dump sites in the West Coast communities of Tahsis and Zeballos.

That leaves the regional district committee (which encompasses both the Strathcona and Comox regional districts) with little time to evaluate and build an expensive new waste treatment and landfill facility.

“There are other options besides Elk Falls,” noted Comox Mayor Paul Ives.

Those options include expanding Campbell River’s dump or the Pigeon Lake facility near Cumberland. At this stage, the latter site seems the most practical since the regional district already owns the land and it’s permitted for a landfill.

But the problem is, Cumberland doesn’t want it either.

“Some of the concerns you’re raising have been raised by residents of Cumberland for years,” director Leslie Baird of Cumberland told the Elk Falls opponents.

The committee also debated the practicality of building a waste-to-energy facility. Some directors think it’s an option, but others believe it’s too expensive and requires far more waste than is generated by both regional districts.

Gold River Mayor Craig Anderson pointed out it took more than 10 years to convert his community’s former pulp mill into a waste-to-energy facility. These facilities are expensive to build and Gold River receives barge loads of garbage from Vancouver to fuel the process.

As well, the waste-to-energy plant is on the waterfront, approximately 13 kilometres away from the Village of Gold River and any residential neighbourhoods. After hearing the arguments, long-time Area D director Brenda Leigh called for a motion to drop Elk Falls as a potential site.

“I feel I don’t need more information. I know waste-to-energy isn’t viable here. I’ve heard this in several workshops,” she said.

But her motion was defeated, led by all of Campbell River’s representatives on the board: councillors Stewart, Claire Moglove, Roy Grant and Mayor Charlie Cornfield (Coun. Ryan Mennie had to leave the meeting before the vote).

“I can’t support the motion,” said Mayor Cornfield. “We’re doing our due diligence and all we’re doing is asking for information.”

Director Noba Anderson of Cortes Island commended the opponents for coming forward and raising concerns.

“Frankly, I think you’re ahead of this board,” she said.

But Director Stewart didn’t see it that way and criticized some of the questions raised by Matheson. He also stated he doesn’t want to see a traditional landfill at the mill site.

“A lot of this stuff isn’t factual,” Stewart said of Matheson’s concerns, as he continued to defend the engineering report which is almost complete and is expected by the end of April. “This is just research. That’s all this is.

“I just find it frustrating. I don’t want to make a bad decision for the residents of Campbell River. I don’t want to be pushed around…sorry, I won’t be pushed around.”

E-mail paulr@campbellrivermirror.com

Just Posted

Campbell River supportive living facility celebrates 25 years amid housing crunch

Willow Point Supportive Living Society provides rental units to low-income seniors

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Chili Fest raises funds for Campbell River community group

Jack-o’-lanterns take over Spirit Square during Halloween event

Campbell River RCMP catch youth with stolen handgun

Gun was allegedly stolen in break-and-enter on Dogwood St.

‘Violent’ wanted man possibly in Campbell River – Crime Stoppers

A wanted man is “violent” and “may be in the Campbell River… Continue reading

VIDEO: Campbell River resident captures backyard bears in photos and video

Amateur photographer David Baar, who lives on Chum Rd. in North Campbell… Continue reading

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

Most Read