Wednesday, December 08, 2010

If Engineers Ran the Zoo

We can certainly appreciate that sometimes engineers feel they know better than the public. And it's certainly their right to write letters explaining how they're able to engineer something the public doesn't actually want.

As readers digest the group letter published in today's Free Press, consider what Bipoles actually look like. They're huge swaths of destruction. They are inconsistent with the development of long-term economic opportunities like ecotourism and unlike an all weather road, it's impossible to transport milk via a high voltage transmission line.

Governments at all levels - municipal, provincial, and federal - have important laws in place that actually protect the public from engineers. And it's a good thing too. Without them, hog barns and manure storage facilities, for example, could be engineered and built almost anywhere in the province.

Hugh McFadyen and his Tories haven't met an engineer they haven't wanted to hug. If you believe, however, that there's more to good public policy than an engineer's formula book, take a serious look at what the NDP, First Nations like Poplar River, and local environmental groups are actually trying to do on the East Side. And if you ever wonder what happens when governments build things in communities where people don't want them, take a tour of Winnipeg's new roundabouts.

If you truly believe in long-term economic development and economic opportunity for East Side communities, the right choice is almost formulaic.