Saturday, July 24, 2010

Township of Esquimalt

Township of Esquimalt

Thank you Esquimalt! It was a pleasure hearing from you this week. I am so impressed with you commitment and your engagement!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sewage Meeting Monday Night!

Township of Esquimalt We are all cutting short our Summer Recess because we want to hear from you about the current Sewage Treatment Plans. Our Council has a strong, unanimous position (see this article) but we want to hear from YOU! Please attend or write us a note to let us know what you're feeling! Hope to see you tomorrow!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Archie Browning Sports Centre Gets a New Roof!

Victoria News - Raising a roof over Archie

Here's a little story I'm THRILLED to pass on. Please check it out by following this link to the Vic News online.

The new roof at Archie Browning is ON time, ON budget and is good to go for another 25 years.

Even better, is that with energy efficient upgrades the costs to operate this facility will go down. Better for the environment AND better for the pocket book.

Well done to all the residents who have worked long and hard to advocate for the grant applications, political will and solid management to see this project through. You made this happen!

...and a HUGE well done to our staff. ON time and ON budget is a great thing to see in the news. PLUS my hat is off to the workers up on the roof today. I've been up there and it is HOT!!! Thank you for all you're doing for us in this weather. Be safe and know we appreciate it!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

CRD Open House in Esquimalt

CRD Open House on McLoughlin Point July 6 and July 8

When: Tuesday July 6 and Thursday July 8, 2010, 3 to 8 p.m.

Where: Esquimalt Council Chambers, 1229 Esquimalt Road

Dear Esquimalt friends and residents,

I'd like to personally urge you to attend one of the CRD public engagement sessions being held next week. While this is in Council Chambers, it is a CRD staff event. It will be an informal, drop-in, open house type format. You could bring your kids along with you if you don't have a babysitter. The CRD will have some information for you to look at and a spot for you to comment.

It may feel like I'm always asking you to attend something, or fill out a survey or provide some feedback. I am. However, this time, I'm also asking for your help. You may have read recent articles in which I was quoted as saying that I felt "blindsided". That is correct. A dramatic change in the Sewage Treatment plan from a distributed model (several smaller locations) to one centralized plant (McLoughlin Point) was made behind closed doors at the CRD with absolutely no input from Councils or their communities. I'm further quoted in the article saying that "we've tried to make our voices heard in every way possible." This is also true. Your Esquimalt Council has been proactive and strong on this issue. I also believe that we have some of the best informed, most articulate residents in this region. The Sewage Treatment Action Group and other residents have been involved and leading community engagement in Esquimalt. Unfortunately, we've all been shut out of the discussions. The article, which quotes several of your Council, is available here: I am asking for your help and your voice.

The volume and intensity of the emails and phone calls I have received this month about the CRD's Sewage Treatment Plans has given me some good insight into how many of you are feeling. You have well thought out and legitimate concerns. You have a passion for our community. I'm asking you to come and let the CRD know. If you cannot attend a public engagement session, you can send in some written feedback here: and here:

The CRD's information on this issue can be found here: Some local editorials and coverage can be found here: Please take a few moments this week to share your concerns and ideas about this issue.

Lastly, I want to address some of the feelings I've heard this week. Many of you have contacted me and asked, "what is the point?", "the decision has already been made" etc. Many of you have been working on this issue for years longer than I have and you're exhausted. I can only thank you for your commitment and your endurance...and ask for more. All I offer you in return is the inspiration I take from you. This week, I am looking to the roof of the Archie Browning Sports Centre and remembering a time, just three years ago, when we were told that "it needed to close" and "there was no other way and no time to consult you". With the grant money
the community insisted we pursue, the roof is being fixed and the facility will be enjoyed for years to come. That roof (and all the cool happenings inside like Team China curling, the Curling Classic, the upcoming Skate Canada Nationals...) are the direct result of your public input. Three years ago, we were told a decision had already been made...and we came out to say it was unacceptable. The Archie Browning Sports Centre will always be a reminder to me, that we CAN make change happen.

Thank you so much,
Ali Gaul