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Back Politics Politics Local Election Coverage What Happened to Dredging?

What Happened to Dredging?

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What makes an issue an issue during an election? Is it media coverage? Is it which community organization yells the loudest? Is it the business interest that spends the most money on advertising? Is it all of these? Is it any of these? I can't even begin to predict what will motivate the people to vote. All I can hope for is that people are motivated to vote. The rhetoric gets thrown around and the issues that get traction begin to polarize the voters. Or so we think. This by-election the fight has been on the Southlands and the South Fraser Perimeter Road. Of course the Provincial Government waited for the slow summer months to announce that the road would take a year longer to build and the Tsawwassen Area Plan that had more controversy that a papal succession sent it's recommendations to council at the end of August and you have your the reason why the never-ending Southlands, SFPR hyperbole seems to be dominating this entire campaign.

So what have we been missing throughout this election cycle?

Sand. No, not the sand that the people at Burns Bog are sending to Shirley Bond to protest the fill that is polluting the bog to accommodate the South Fraser Road. I'm talking silt, right here in River City (sorry I couldn't resist),and lots of it. It has been on my radar and I have attended a few meetings and done a ton of research on the dredging that is so desperately needed in Ladner Harbour, but I have to admit that I have been distracted by the "Battle Royale" taking place in Tsawwassen. It's what we in the media like to call, "low hanging fruit."

It was an email that I received from Kathleen Higgins earlier today that re-opened my eyes to this very important issue. After meeting this week with people concerned about sediment build-up in Ladner Harbour, Kathleen reminded me that, "a revitalization of Ladner Harbour must include ensuring that Ladner Harbour will have adequate water depth to remain a harbour," she went on to say, "because a land mass was built after the 1954 flood in order to prevent flooding in Ladner, the reduced water flow has contributed to the increasing sediment build up. It is now up to 4 centimeters per year, and is increasing each year. The ironic part is that the sediment could contribute to future flooding as the floor of the harbour is raised by the sediment."

Dredging needs to occur as soon as possible. A recent study concluded that encouraging more water flow through the harbour, but with flood gates that could be closed if necessary, would be the best long term solution to the challenge. Funding from the federal government is needed for this project. More publicity is needed for this issue. The situation is getting worse each year.

Whatever the outcome of today's election, it is unlikely that this will be an issue that encourages people to get out and vote. Hopefully, it won't take another 4 centimeters to make people take notice.



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