Give us water facts

A writer seeks more information about who is compelling Ashcroft to build a new water treatment plant, and by what authority.

Dear Editor,

Mayor Jack Jeyes and council could do a lot more to reinforce their argument that this village is in dire need of a multi-million-dollar upgrade of our water, if they would just publish the directives from the Provincial Government and Interior Health they claim have ordered them to do so. All we have so far are words that it must be done.

Councils must justify substantial debt liabilities to the taxpayer. It isn’t enough to simply tell us it is needed. Give us some facts, figures, testing results by professionals. Frankly, I can’t understand this lack of specific information. This is not how the system is supposed to work. Speculation of “what could happen”—the “what if this occurs”—is simply not an argument. You can “what if” until the cows come home.

We know that Interior Health has the authority to act when there is an outbreak of waterborne disease affecting human health in a community. But in lieu of such an outbreak, and in view of the fact that Ashcroft has been blessed with a relatively clean water supply for years with the present system, this sudden regard for update of our water is the question at hand that needs an answer.

More than enough taxpayers in Ashcroft have indicated their opposition to the proposed upgrade. It is council’s duty to regard the protest as not only a civil right, but a legal right. To simply argue against it is wrong. That’s not how democracy works. Have a referendum. That’s what municipalities do when there are enough taxpayers against a proposal.

I mean, we can “what if” and “what might” happen (to our water supply) ad infinitum, as I have heard councillor Roden dramatically conjecture at the last public meeting. At the same time, our federal government is very concerned about the mounting debt assumed by municipalities, school districts, and the personal debt of families. There seems a counter-productive effort here that doesn’t make much sense.

Boil Water Advisories have been conducted in our communities for years. When the spring freshet in our rivers subsides, the necessity for boiling the water is ended. Personally, I have been drinking tap water for 40 years here in Ashcroft, and I have one kidney. I am 85.

Esther Darlington

Ashcroft