A huge crowd chanted “just say no” before the Nanaimo City Council meeting, and that’s just what they did.
Council voted unanimously Monday to tell Metro Vancouver they don’t want to see a waste to energy facility at Duke Point, following the stance taken earlier by the Regional District of Nanaimo.
Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan made his position clear before the debate even started, criticizing how Metro Vancouver has handled the whole thing.
The group behind the bid now says it’s “conceding” to public and Council opposition.
But mayor Ruttan says the vote does not close the door to an incinerator for local garbage in the future, “My opposition to the application is not intended to limit opportunity for our region to consider waste to energy as an alternative in the future, but rather, to support a local discussion that deals with our regional garbage alternatives first, not just to solve those belonging to Metro Vancouver.”
If the Duke Point bid is truly dead that leaves a site near Port Mellon on the Sunshine Coast as one two left in the running for the Metro Vancouver project.
The bidder is Aquilini Renewable Energy in partnership with the Squamish First Nation, and because the proposed site is on Squamish Nation territory Gibsons, Sechelt and the Sunshine Coast Regional District don’t have jurisdiction.
Buddy Boyd of Gibsons Recycling is a long-time zero waste advocate. He says so far the prospect of an incinerator hasn’t generated the same opposition and debate as it has in Nanaimo, but that’s starting to change.
Metro officials are due to hold a public meeting on the project May 24th in Gibsons.