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LETTER: Reasonable time to study document

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Cooper Institute repeats a concern made on a number of occasions over the past year. Now it's about the proposed new Water Act: Why the rush

As on other occasions e.g. the electoral reform plebiscite and the

School Closing plan, we have said that the P.E.I. government is giving a

bad name to its own consultations.

When you rush public consultations we ask: Are you implying that the issues at hand are not important or are you saying that the people’s knowledge and opinions are not important?

Or are you saying both of the above?

We say again: no government can afford to add to Islanders’ long-held

mistrust of government consultations.

To be fair: we have had some wonderful government-initiated

consultations, for example the Carver Commission on the land and the

original consultations (2015-16) on the Water Act. However this second

round on the Water Act is too rushed to allow people to delve into the

various sections of the proposed Act. The community needs reasonable

time for study of this new document: to appreciate the positive aspects

of the act and to identify and raise red flags about any loopholes.

We notice that the current government has a tendency to release a number game-changing policy documents within days of each other. The P.E.I. Energy Strategy and the final draft of consultants’ recommendations for a P.E.I. Climate Change Mitigation Strategy were made public on March 17, 2017, practically coinciding the release for Water Act draft.

 

Marie Burge,

for Cooper Institute

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