(Re: Local Viewpoint, Brandon Sun, July 20, 2012: “Fox Guarding The Chicken House).
It was interesting to read the article in the Brandon Sun about the challenges facing the Little Saskatchewan River. It provides readers with several important facts that were not previously known.
I’m left wondering how this can be happening. Why aren’t government officials and staff properly performing their duty to protect the river on the public’s behalf? Isn’t that what environmental assessment and licensing is supposed to be about and why the public pays their salaries?
Why are they allowing this irrigation project to proceed, knowing what they know and, if they get it wrong, the consequences for the future of the LSR will be its demise. It makes imminent sense to complete the in-stream flow study initiated under Water Stewardship Minister Christine Melnick first.
Without it, science-based decisions about the Little Saskatchewan can’t be made to protect the life it now supports (plant, animal and human) for future generations.
Further, when I read that the installation of expensive pipeline infrastructure has been underway for a two-year period (on the chances of getting a licence approval), this also makes me wonder who is manipulating the strings of these conservation/water stewardship puppets.
Justice Horace Krever tells us: “The relationship between a regulator and the regulated must never become one in which the regulator loses sight of the principle that it regulates only in the public interest and not in the interests of the regulated.”
I commend Ms. Pryzner for her investigative abilities and the Brandon Sun for publishing the story, to bring the problem to the attention of all Manitobans.
Yes, it very much sounds like the fox is guarding the chicken house in this scenario, but it also has the distinct, somewhat unpleasant odour of collusion.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 27, 2012