Blue-green algae on Elk/Beaver Lakes. Photo taken in 2013. (Black Press file photo)

Officials quiet about Saanich’s bid to host Rowing Canada’s national training centre

Saanich is one of five communities in the running with Rowing Canada silent about competition

Saanich could learn as early as next month whether it will host Rowing Canada Aviron’s national training centre.

Jennifer Walinga, chair of the committee tasked with choosing the national training site, said in an October update that it will make a recommendation to the association’s board of directors by the end of November with the board rendering a final decision in December. Rowing Canada has scheduled a formal announcement for January 2019.

Walinga outlined this timeline after her committee reviewed all five submissions and conducted site visits.

Rowing Canada plans to establish a primary national training centre by October 2020, and Saanich is one of five communities competing for said centre.

Notably, Rowing Canada is running on silent when it comes to releasing even the names of Saanich’s competitors, never mind any details.

RELATED: Blue-green algae blooms could sink bid to host national rowing centre in Saanich

“We are not in a position to be able to offer additional information around specific sites as the process is still ongoing,” said Colleen Coderre, communications lead for Rowing Canada Aviron.

She later added that local site committees had requested confidentiality.

Should Rowing Canada Aviron favour the bid from the Victoria City Rowing Club (VCRC), Saanich would host the centre until at least 2032.

But a number of environmental and regulatory concerns could sink the bid as Rowing Canada has expressed concern with weed growth on Elk/Beaver Lake.

That body of water has a history of blue-green algae blooms, whose frequency has increased in recent years, according to a report from the Capital Regional District (CRD).

“More targeted weed removal may be required to ensure the larger 2 km course remains free of weed growth,” it reads.

Regional authorities currently operate a weed harvester, which the report claims “has been effective in controlling weed growth.”

RELATED: Saanich’s Elk/Beaver Lake to undergo remediation

But the environmental state of Elk/Beaver Lake caught the attention of Rowing Canada Aviron, as the region stands to lose a yet-to-be-determined amount of additional spending in the form of salaries, programming, athlete support and operations. A recent report recently warned of this very scenario.

Other obstacles remain. If the VCRC were to receive the winning bid, it may end up expanding its current facilities by at least 25 per cent. Such a revision would require public consultation and changes to the Elk/Beaver Lake management. It calls for a range of uses and public feedback has so far not gone beyond local representatives of the fishing community.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Indian Day School students eligible for $10K apiece

Islanders included in settlement package reached with Canada’s federal government

Discovery Island wolf continues to thrive

The wolf, known as ‘Takaya’, has lived on the island for seven years

Early indications say allergy season could be milder this spring

The Aerobiology Lab collects pollen samples from across Canada to help make predictions

EDITORIAL: Housing is one of our basic needs

We all need food, clothing and shelter first

BIG READ: The two sides of the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery

The case for the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery Comox fisherman,… Continue reading

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

Yarns, string and human hair pose a risk to Vancouver Island birds

Wild ARC handles a number of entanglement cases each year

Raine Maida, Chantal Kreviazuk present new duo act at the Port Theatre

Couple touring new album ‘I’m Going to Break Your Heart’ across Canada, starting in Nanaimo

Royals face Blazers to kickoff WHL playoffs

Series opens Friday, March 22 at Victoria’s Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

B.C. public insurance includes funding enforcement, driver licensing

Most Read