Alberta Hansard March 22, 2007 Water Management

Alberta Hansard March 22, 2007 Water Management
Dr. Swann: … The recent Rosenberg report, commissioned by this government, was very critical of the lack of knowledge and action on responsible water management in Alberta and identified real risks for the future, yet the Premier has said that he will not slow economic growth. To the Premier: how does the Premier explain to fellow farmers this uncontrolled growth in management?
Mr. Stelmach: Mr. Speaker, as one that has grown various crops in this province of Alberta, we do depend on the good Lord to give us a sprinkle from time to time to grow our crops. I mean, without rain we don’t have any crops.
Dr. Swann: Thank you. The Environment minister admitted yesterday in meetings with municipalities that approving one project at a time without doing a total cumulative impact assessment of all activities on our watershed does not serve Albertans….
Mr. Renner: Well, it’s interesting, Mr. Speaker, how someone can interpret words in different ways. What, in fact, I indicated to AAMD and C when I was talking with them yesterday was that we are going to be developing cumulative impact processes so that we can improve the way we deal with our environmental approval process. I never indicated at any point in the conversation that the process that we have in place now is not adequate. I just indicated that there is room for improvement, and we intend to move in that direction.
Dr. Swann: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. With a fraction of the resources that the Alberta Environment department needs, at .5 per cent of our provincial budget, a fraction of what they used to have, and a massive increase in development and water impacts, Albertans are wondering if the government has received the message that the environment is their number one concern. The Rosenberg report reinforced concerns about gross underinvestment in Alberta Environment. To the minister: when will see proper investment in Alberta Environment?
Mr. Renner: Well, Mr. Speaker, I happen to be an individual who measures success by things other than the amount of dollars that are spent on me.

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