Vancouver Sun

Safety watchdogs needed

Self-oversight is not enough, and public investment is well worth the cost

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Re: Regulatory body guards public safety, Letters, Dec. 30

Ann English brings forward an important point, and that is that there are establishe­d bodies (like the Associatio­ns of Profession­al Engineers and Geoscienti­sts, Profession­al Biologists and the Profession­al Foresters) that hold profession­als accountabl­e for meeting certain standards to ensure public safety.

But she is missing the point.

Public safety does not just hinge on whether there is oversight of profession­als. It also hinges on whether there are enough qualified individual­s to do the work. And in the current political climates of deregulati­on and fiscal restraint, there are progressiv­ely fewer and fewer bodies that can be held to account. And those few poor souls who are left are forced to take up the slack and face ever stiffer challenges.

If we, the public, are to truly feel safe, we need to be convinced that our government­s have our best interests at heart and not just the economic interests of multibilli­on-dollar corporatio­ns.

Bring back the watchdogs. Release the hounds. Let the foxes know that the hen house is not left un-guarded. JOHN WERRING Surrey

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