Scott MacKenzie appears able replacement for former commission chairman Rodgerson
Scott MacKenzie, new chairman and CEO of IRAC
Changes within the ranks of senior management in the provincial government announced this week were some of the most wide-ranging made in recent years. One of the more interesting questions centred on whom would replace Moe Rodgerson who just completed an unprecedented 10-year term as chair of the all-powerful Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission. IRAC was vested with so much authority under the Pat Binns administration that it rivaled the premier’s office in terms of power over the lives of Islanders.
IRAC regulates auto insurance, electricity, land protection, waste management and water and sewer. It hears appeals on environmental issues, planning, taxes, unsightly premises and administers residential and rental property issues. The commission is responsible for public hearings on municipal boundary extensions. Not much happens in the lives of Islanders which isn’t impacted by a decision from IRAC.
Mr. Rodgerson was seen as a patronage appointment when he was first named to IRAC and later when he was made chairman. But it is conceded that he grew into the job and was an able and competent commissioner and chairman. Maritime Electric had a good working relationship with Mr. Rodgerson and found him an able person to work with involving controversial energy issues. The skyrocketing price increases for gas, home heating oil and propane have made IRAC a lightning rod for criticism. Any savings we might have enjoyed over neighbouring provinces all but disappeared with the implementation of the HST last April.
The selection of Scott MacKenzie as the new chairman and CEO of IRAC is an intriguing appointment. Mr. MacKenzie, outside of legal circles, might be best known as a past president of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Charlottetown Inc. and secretary with the Charlottetown Airport Authority.
The UPEI and Dal graduate practised law in Charlottetown for more than 30 years and was a senior partner at the law firm of Stewart McKelvey. His curriculum vitae reads like a business school of experience in representing large corporations, financial institutions, government, financial and development agencies, municipalities and family-owned businesses. He has acted as counsel on commercial property development and providing advice to developers and municipalities, plus has experience on regulatory matters dealing with federal and provincial governments.
He seems more than qualified to step into this demanding position.
City dodging fox issue
“Seems everyone is moving into Charlottetown, even the foxes.” This Overheard on the Island tidbit from author David Weale published in The Guardian this week is very timely as the topic of foxes came up at city council Monday night.
Foxes have become an urban issue … they live in snow banks on the roofs of residential homes and show up like clockwork for mealtime at a number of city homes and businesses who have gotten into the habit of feeding the hungry critters. Some people see them as an attractive addition to the city’s landscape and consider feeding them as being a help rather than a hindrance, no more serious than taking care of blue jays at the backyard feeder. It was thought the fox invaded the city because of pressure from marauding coyotes but now the crafty carnivore finds the pickings so good, he doesn’t want to leave. Enter city council which has concerns about the safety of children, small family pets and the well-being of the foxes themselves. The city wants to convince the P.E.I. government to pass a province-wide ban on feeding foxes. What’s to stop the city from passing its own bylaw banning such a practice in Charlottetown?
The emphasis would be more on education than enforcement but gradually the problem might just go away.