Re: “Helwer Presses Government On EAL Funding” (Brandon Sun, May 29).
As stated, the government of Manitoba said it would protect the school division from any adverse financial impact resulting from the Maple Leaf Foods plant locating in Brandon, but while those promises were good for the time, no one predicted, a “What If” scenario.
While everyone apparently knew that there would be a substantial financial impact, what all the experts and planners alike failed to recognize and take into consideration is:
• What if: The plan to hire the majority of plant workers from the city and surrounding communities did not prove successful? (And in hind sight, we all know it failed.)
• What if: There has to be a concentrated import of workers, from beyond the borders of Manitoba and Canada. (Again in hindsight, that is exactly what has taken place.)
• What if: Appropriate studies were carried out? ( They were not.)
The government(s) of the day were warned at meetings in Brandon, that in no uncertain terms, should the Maple Leaf development proceed without meaningful studies, which could have forewarned the “What-if scenarios” and forecasted the larger anticipated financial impacts for the school requirements.
Sitting in opposition, Brandon West Progressive Conservative MLA Reg Helwer has a position to question the government on their shortcomings, but in perfect hindsight and what-if scenarios, I also believe he has to accept that there were many things that should have been done, and done much better, in this development, that he now criticizes. Yes, even when the Filmon Conservative government was in power.
In conclusion, Maple Leaf got a great deal from Brandon and the Manitoba government. Now, the people of the province — one way or another — will have to bear the cost.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 31, 2012