EDITORIAL: Back to the table

Abbotsford voters decisively sank the P3 Stave Lake water project, with almost 75 per cent opposed

What a tumultuous night.

Saturday evening, Abbotsford voters decisively sank the P3 Stave Lake water project, with almost 75 per cent opposed – a far different picture than the close race predicted by two phone polls commissioned by the city in preceding weeks.

Clearly, the 38 per cent of the local electorate who turned out to the polls either did not accept the water requirement scenario depicted by the city, rejected private involvement in water delivery outright, and/or didn’t trust city hall to negotiate a P3 contract, and resented the lack of options to the nearly $300-million plan.

And while he is only one vote on council, Mayor George Peary paid the price, losing his seat to a political newcomer, chiropractor Bruce Banman.

It may have been a combination of the taxpayer-supported Heat hockey deal, the financially struggling sports arena, rising taxes, or a number of other issues in addition to the P3 proposal, but voter dissatisfaction targeted the mayor.

It’s deeply ironic, in that the voters who punished Peary for council’s decisions re-elected every incumbent who ran.

The only new face at the council table other than Banman will be Henry Braun, who took the seat left open by departing Coun. Lynne Harris.

Nevertheless, the public did deliver a message to elected representatives. The water issue must be revisited, and alternatives explored. And, if federal funds become available again, they best not be tied to a P3 deal.

The city’s need to address its water supply isn’t altered by a change in mayors. Neither are the challenges of growth and development.

A fresh examination of the situation may yield different visions for the future – or conceivably, some time from now, we may be back at Stave Lake.

It’s going to be an interesting term for this ‘new’ council.

Just Posted

Pet snake snatched in home robbery

Family devastated, Abbotsford Police Department requesting help from community

Large Sumas Mountain quarry up for sale

Seller says development could follow mine’s eventual closure

RCMP, ERT attending incident at Cheam First Nation

Few details are available about the incident, which saw more than a dozen police cars attend

Abbotsford’s Quilty wins Squamish 50-50

Local trail runner establishes new course record on the weekend

UPDATE: Registered owner of vehicle involved in fatal hit-and-run comes forward

As owner speaks with Abbotsford detectives, police encourage witnesses to come forward

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

North Van music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Most Read