Editorial: Why didn’t the province say anything in contaminated soil case?

Editorial: Why didn’t the province say anything in contaminated soil case?

Why didn’t someone from the province speak up during all the controversy?

Why didn’t they say anything?

The findings last week made public by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC that Active Earth Engineering had no conflict of interest when it spoke in an expert capacity during the provincial Ministry of Environment’s permitting process for the controversial Shawnigan Lake contaminated soil site, in spite of having a potential ownership stake in the company operating the site, raised some baffling questions.

What really stuck out to us was the finding that Active Earth had disclosed the potential conflict to the ministry, and the ministry had told them it was no problem. Active Earth really did do their due diligence.

But what about the province?

It immediately begs the question, why didn’t someone from the province speak up during all the controversy?

The whole thing about the potential ownership stake came out in a cloak and dagger fashion, involving envelopes clandestinely and anonymously slipped under doors. It was big news. Those opposing the contaminated soil site, as well as the media, figured noboby in authority knew about this. And nobody in authority set the record straight at the time.

Why not? Were they worried about being the ones put in the hot seat? They were certainly contacted for comment.

It seems odd that we’re only finding out about this now, and only because of a press release from a professional association.

While the contaminated soil site has now been shut down, this is just one of the many things that should be looked into when it comes to the future of the permit process.

Many have come to question the professional reliance model on which it operates, meaning that private companies provide expert opinion on which the government officials rely when making their decisions, yay or nay.

Perhaps an expert or two paid by the government and therefore, presumably, entirely impartial is the way to go.