Lack of microphone at public hearing a problem

Public expected better answers from FVRD regarding water usage in Harrison Mills

Being new residents in the area, we attended our first Public Hearing, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Harrison Mills Community Hall.

Holding such an important FVRD Public Hearing in mid August, during a high vacation time period and being the warmest time of year, left us with the feeling that public attendance was curtailed because of the poor scheduling.

Because of the lack of a microphone many people in the audience, especially those at the back of the hall, did not hear the verbal submissions well, if at all. Even ourselves, who sat in the front row, did not hear a good portion of the quieter verbal submissions. We’re sure many persons left early because of having to strain to listen.  Considering the importance of the issue, in reality, being the extraction of water and the increasing interest in the selling of it for profit, we feel that the FVRD staff were lacking in their duty by not making sure people could be properly heard…after all it was titled a public ‘hearing’.

We were surprised that not all 7 board members were present. It gave us the impression that those missing members were partial to the re-zoning, having already made their up their minds by not taking into consideration the varied view points expressed during that meeting.

For the FVRD board members to go ahead and vote on such an important issue indirectly involving water extraction, at this time, before the Province of B.C. has the new B.C. Water Sustainability Act, in place sometime next spring, is acting in haste, we feel, and leaves us with the question…why so fast?

Since the applicant stated, at the meeting, that if he didn’t get the re-zoning approval, he would then build a water bottling facility elsewhere.  That would mean he could still continue extracting his 25,000 gallons of water per day, from his property (and possibly have that amount increased if the re-zoning goes through) trucking the water off sight, to be processed,  while his water bottling facility is under construction, elsewhere. Therefore there would be no disruption to his present bulk water business, as it would be, if he were to begin building the new facility on his present property.

Two points, that we made note of, could not/were not answered by the FVRD staff, at that meeting: first…when do water licenses come up for renewal?  The meeting focus was on the construction of a water bottling facility, in an eco-sensitive area, that would have to be re-zoned, changing the OCP from Institutional to Resource Industrial.

We expected that the FVRD would be well educated on the subject of water as the issue of water is at the forefront in the Province and goes hand-in-hand with the bottling of it, in our opinion.

The other point expressed, by a member of the audience, stated as a fact, that the extraction of great amounts of water, from the area’s aquifer, may cause, nearby slope erosion and/or slides, causing severe damage to both the surrounding surface water and properties.

The staff’s answer, in our opinion, was that the FVRD staff will make sure that  the 8,000 sq. ft. water bottling facility would have adequately built foundations to survive such an event.

It was obvious, in our opinion, that the staff member, addressing the statement, was not prepared to expand on the original concern, as presented.

Water Is The New Gold!

Precious B.C. water should never be considered a commodity, in our opinion.

Respectfully,

W. & M. Sikorra

South Lake Errock

Just Posted

A Milbert’s tortoiseshell rests on a flower. Nature Chilliwack says butterfly gardens for every stage of life are possible using plants native to the area. (Photo/Nature Chilliwack)
Nature Chilliwack offers butterfly garden tips

Gardens can be created using local plants, the nature club says

(Photo/Mary-Jean Coyle)
Community Camera for June 11, 2021

Submit your photos to news@ahobserver.com

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

(Adam Louis/Observer)
PHOTOS: Students leap into action in track events at Kent Elementary

At Kent Elementary, when the sun’s outside, the fun’s outside. The intermediate… Continue reading

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Most Read