Thursday, October 22, 2009

Insider Influence on the Mega-Yacht Marine Proposal?

The Tyee sure thinks so. They're reporting that 3000 pages of documents were obtained using freedom of information requests by the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria and Save Victoria Harbour. The papers show correspondence between well-known Liberal party supports (including a local defeated Liberal MLA) acting as unregistered lobbyists for the proposal, and provincial Liberal cabinet ministers long before plans were released to the public.
There was so much correspondence that one ministry staffer asked, possibly rhetorically, "Is it normal for proponents to 'shop around' their project to Ministers during an ILMB process?" Sadly, no answer appears in the documents, but the documents also show that despite Transport Canada's public position that there are no safety concerns, behind the scenes it is a different matter. One Transport Canada official wrote to provincial officials back in 2006 that, "[w]e are very concerned about the marina proposal. From what we can tell it will completely block the access for recreational vessels along the north shore of the Middle Harbour. It could also potential [sic] interfere with our traffic management scheme that has been established in the last several years."
It's a good thing that our provincial government is the most open and transparent in history. Or so they keep telling us.

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