Apr 092018

My letter to officials appears below this reply from the Medical Health Officer:


From: Hasselback, Paul
Sent: March 26, 2018 7:03 AM
To:  Sandra Finley
Cc: Waters, Shannon (Dr)  ((Vancouver Island Health Authority)
Subject: FW: re Cholera cases from herring eggs, Qualicum Beach area


Ms. Finley:


As the Medical Health Officer for the Qualicum area your inquiry was forwarded to me.  I am very aware of the ongoing details of the current cluster of Vibrio cholera illness associated with herring egg consumption.


While you may wish to use this situation as an example for not supporting a specific proposed sewage treatment facility or treatment process, that would not be consistent with the information arising from the cluster of illnesses.

I reviewed your submission on the proposed Bowser facility, and short of diverting all effluent from any water return, the facility would actually reduce the likelihood human caused bacterial contamination. If anything, the recent events would enhance the arguments for improvements to the Bowser facility(and to other direct marine discharging waste returns).


We remain concerned about untreated sewage from residences and communities and marine sewage disposal, although this event may not be related it is a hypothesis, and has been implicated in recent shellfish related illness.


There may also be  other causes which are not related to human wastes.


As such, while you may wish to use the information as you wish, it would appear that it does not strengthen your arguments and may actually weaken them.


Thanks for sharing your perspective.  I wish you the best in your advocacy endeavours.



Paul Hasselback MD MSc FRCPC

Medical Health Officer

Central Vancouver Island (Nanaimo, Oceanside, Alberni, West Coast)

250  739   6304

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


From: Sandra Finley
Sent: March 25, 2018 5:47 PM
Subject: Bowser Sewage Treatment Plant and Cholera traced to herring eggs harvested in vicinity of Qualicum Beach




RE:   Bowser Sewage Treatment Plant and Cholera traced to herring eggs harvested in vicinity of Qualicum Beach


In the end I suspect the Cholera won’t be such a mystery at all.


The Vancouver Sun describes  “The harvest in the area where the infections took place — a stretch of coastal waters from French Creek to Qualicum Beach . . .”.  


I describe my experience swimming in that same water, in  Submission to BC Govt officials, re the proposed Bowser Sewage Treatment Plant   (2017-09-12).  (Qualicum Beach is flanked on either side by French Creek and Bowser, as you will know.)


You may (not?!) recall the submission.   it is based on and includes experience with water on the Atlantic Coast (Halifax),  and Saskatoon (the South Saskatchewan River).


It does not matter how fancy the name applied to the Sewage Treatment Plant (Sequencing Batch Reactor with UV radiation and Tertiary Filtration), the plants do not and cannot remove many of the most problematic components,  as explained in my Submission sent to you last September.  (copy at the above URL).


I have submitted a request to make a verbal presentation to Qualicum Beach Council.  I will make the case for withdrawal of the endorsement of the Bowser Sewage Treatment Plant.  It’s an easy case to make, but in my experience Councils (human) are most often very status quo.


A critical mass of informed people, or crisis (Cholera?) is required, before change will happen.


If the cases of Cholera do not make the case for stopping the “marine disposal” of sewage treatment plant effluent,  there is no hope for the human race!

Please, somehow, activate the machinery of officialdom to bring an end to the practice.


Thank-you, and


Best wishes,

Sandra Finley

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