"Rather than bring transparency to the process, the ARB erected a barrier. If we can’t even find out why the government didn’t provide proper oversight – again, for 17 years – of a big open-net fish farm in Digby, can we have any confidence that it will do the job in the future?"
"... it’s a tad disconcerting that the ARB doesn’t see the company’s past infractions, or the provincial regulator’s complicity therein, as relevant to an application that effectively legitimizes those infractions 17 years after they began.
To the delight of Cooke and its provincial government allies, the board shut down lawyers from Ecojustice who wanted to ask the question on everyone’s mind – everyone, that is, except the company and the province, who know the answer, and the board, which seems more inclined to protect bureaucrats – and likely more than a few politicians – than get at the truth."
But even the industry understands that it has no future without public trust.
"What’s happening in Yarmouth this week won’t build trust. Indeed, for those Nova Scotians paying attention, it will have the opposite effect.
It was about 18 months ago that the Nova Scotia Supreme Court found the provincial government failed its legal obligation to protect vulnerable and endangered species.
For 17 years, the province looked the other way while an open-net fish farm grew – like the Grinch’s heart – three sizes too big.
Indigenous people, grandmothers, young Nova Scotians and other folks who are worried about the province and the planet mount the barricades to protect fragile ecosystems because they, and we, have years of experience with provincial governments that won’t."
All Excerpts above from:
Op Ed by: Jim Vibert | Saltwire | November 17, 2021
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