Victoria, BC–- At the Capital Regional District (CRD) Board meeting today, the Honourable Peter Fassbender, Provincial Minister of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development, presented to the CRD Board regarding a solution to move forward with the Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project. Minister Fassbender presented the following observations:
- The Project has a complex governance model.
- Project governance needs to be separated from other organizational governance as responsibilities are currently divided between committees.
- While the work to date has identified a diversity of interests and produced a wealth of information, there is still no final project plan or schedule.
- The CRD has the legal obligation to provide sewage treatment for the partner municipalities in the region by January 1, 2021.
- There is a clear timeline within which these legal obligations must be met, with significant consequences arising if there is a failure to do so.
- The Project is currently out of compliance with Provincial funding requirements and a new business case is required by September 2016.
- Without the Board’s consideration of the recommendations and an agreement in principle to move forward, it is a very real possibility that the provincial funding could be withdrawn, together with federal financial support.
In early April 2016, Minister Fassbender offered to assist the CRD in moving forward with a sewage treatment solution for the region. The CRD accepted the offer and the Minister asked Partnerships BC and Peter Milburn (former Deputy Minister of Finance, with experience in significant capital infrastructure projects) to assist in conducting due diligence and making recommendations. Since April 2016, provincial staff have held meetings with many of the parties involved in the CRD Wastewater Project to date and made recommendations regarding project governance and procurement process in the form of a project board approach.
Recommendations from the province include:
- Establishing a Project Board with delegated authority to undertake all aspects of planning, site acquisition, project management and expenditures.
- Enabling the Project Board to hire a Project Director who would lead the project and be responsible for putting a team together.
- Completing a Project Plan and Schedule.
- Confirming sites before going back to the market place.
- Developing a new Business Case.
The next steps for the project will be to prepare Terms of Reference and a new Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project Board Bylaw based on the recommendations presented to the CRD Board and incorporate a vision and objectives that reflect the Board Strategic Priority for Integrated Resource Management (IRM). The terms of reference will be brought to the Board within a few weeks.
“Today’s decision is a major step forward and with the Province’s help we are getting this done. On behalf of the CRD I want to thank Minister Fassbender and his experts for their work and recommendations,” said CRD Board Chair Barbara Desjardins. “All of the valuable technical and community engagement work that has been completed up until now will help guide the terms of reference for the Project Board and the overall vision and direction of the project. This will include how we can continue to involve and work with our First Nations partners in this initiative. IRM is a strategic priority of the board and focus will be conveyed to the Project Board through their terms of reference.”
Appendix A: Provincial Report - CRD Wastewater Treatment Project: Observations and Recommendations on Project Governance
Celebrating 50 years! The CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24 member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, enhance community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region.
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