Chilliwack MLA John Les may be leaving politics in a few months but he's going out with guns blazing.
A day after lashing out against the Fraser Health Authority's order that the city begin chlorinating its water supply, Les issued a press release that slammed Metro Vancouver's lack of consultation with Fraser Valley residents over garbage.
Recently Metro Vancouver's waste committee rejected a Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) request to allow an observer to sit on an expert panel overseeing the proposed
waste-to-energy project that has been hotly opposed by Les, the FVRD and Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz.
Instead, a political liaison committee will be set up to hear from Fraser Valley politicians.
But even this is opposed by some Metro politicians.
Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan voted against the liaison committee saying it validated the FVRD's concern about air quality. Corrigan says valley pollution is more a result of vehicle traffic.
Langley City Coun. Gayle Martin said "It doesn't matter what we say to the FVRD in regards to waste to energy . . . they don't want us to have one."
But what most angers Les is Metro waste committee chair Malcolm Brodie's assertion that the decision to build a waste-to-energy facility had already been made.
Brodie, who is also the mayor of Richmond, said allowing the FVRD to sit on the expert committee was a "terrible idea."
"Brodie conveniently forgets that the Ministry of Environment has explicitly demanded that any such plan by [Metro Vancouver] must be submitted to an Environmental Assessment Process," Les said. "It is obvious that [Metro Vancouver] officials are attempting to barge ahead regardless. This cavalier attitude will not be tolerated by residents of the Fraser Valley."
Further, Les suggested that if the Metro really wants to improve the environment, it should move to shut down the Vancouver landfill immediately, as "this has got to rank as the foremost environmental obscenity in the Lower Mainland."
"While fully aware that this landfill, located in the middle of Burns Bog, is a wonderful cash cow for the City of Vancouver, this just is not a tenable location for a garbage dump in the 21st century," Les's press release said.
"The landfill at Cache Creek is a much better environmental alternative."