Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman has fired of a letter Minister of Health Margaret MacDiarmid and Minister of Finance Mike de Jong saying that the City of Abbotsford, “feels that some MOH (Ministry of Health) staff are reluctant to find solutions to the concerns raised [by the City of Abbotsford].”
The concerns Banman refers to are outlined in the letter and have to do with a longstanding complaint from the City, backed up by the concerns of several other municipalities, that both the Drinking Water Protection Act and the Environmental Management Act recognize that large municipal water systems, such as Abbotsford’s employ professionals “who contribute to the delivery of effective water and wastewater services.”
According to Banman, the Environmental Operators Certification Program (EOCP) does not recognize these individuals (Engineering Managers) and consequently requires the same EOCP-certified operator requirements as other, smaller municipalities.
In the letter, Banman complains that the City of Abbotsford began its discussion of the issue in a letter in December of 2011 and followed that up with a meeting with Minister Mike de Jong in September of 2012. According to Banman de Jong indicated he agreed with the City’s position.
Since that time it appears nothing has happened.
Banman says, that MOH staff “have raised the issue of the Trade, Investment & Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) as a stumbling block oreventing legislative changes. However, the metting of March 9, 2012, Minister de Jong noted that TILMA should not be a concern.”
He goes on to say, “I am asking for open dialogue,” on the issue and argues that the EOCP should be nothing more than a certification body and not an administrative body charged with deciding what municipalities require.
To read a copy of the letter simply click here.