EDMONTON, AB (July 24, 2013): While a study released this week on the government’s lack of environmental backbone has the PC government denying the report’s accuracy, the main problem facing the environment continues to be the government’s lack of transparency and accountability, Wildrose Official Opposition Environment Critic Joe Anglin said today.
Yesterday, a report cited thousands of alleged contraventions of licence conditions since 1996, revealed through Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy requests. Government took enforcement action in 37 cases, or less than one per cent of contraventions. The report alleges significant problems in the government’s environmental monitoring and reporting system, including missing records, erroneous data and failure to report incidents. The report comes just weeks after the Auditor General’s report noted the failure of the Natural Resources Conservation Board to fully implement recommendations to protect groundwater and surface water (page 125). “The Alberta government disputes the technical conclusions of yesterday’s report, but it has missed the overall problem the report reveals. This report demonstrates the PC government’s lack of transparency and accountability on environmental matters and its complete lack of will to take decisive action to protect the environment when it is needed,” Anglin said. “This government has failed to establish a credible record of being a good environmental steward. While we are trying to improve our image internationally to gain access to foreign markets, the credibility of our environmental record is paramount. The Auditor General’s recommendations should be implemented immediately.”