Sense and Cents
Regarding the Diversion feature “Sense and Cents” in the April/May edition, it seems highly inappropriate for Usman Valiante to be writing an article of this nature for a national publication without clearly identifying his bias. This article represents the brewer’s view of how they would like things to exist in Alberta. What your readers don’t know is that Mr. Valiante also represents the brewers in Alberta and other provinces promoting their view. I would also question the timing of such an article given that this issue of rate setting is one that has not been resolved and is presently before Alberta courts. Is Mr. Valiante taking advantage of his previous relationship with your magazine to promote his clients cause without a balanced editorial?
Alberta Bottle Depot Association
To ensure that the there was “a balanced editorial” I forwarded the article for comment to the Alberta Beverage Container Management Board (BCMB) — the entity that regulates Alberta bottle depots (who are Jeff Linton’s members). There, the article was vetted by Bob Saari, exective director of the BCMB. Subsequently he provided me with a few comments (which I incorporated) and his approval of the article’s factual content, tone and characterization of the BCMB’s views of the utility pricing approach to setting of handling fees.
In response to Mr. Linton’s comment that my article is a treatise on “how they (brewers) would like things to exist in Alberta” I would point out that an independent consultant hired by the BCMB to compare the Acton approach with the utility pricing approach has determined that:
“According to Bonbright et al, a public utility can be most basically defined as an enterprise that is subject to governmental control of its rates and has a limitation on the rate of return it is allowed to earn. Based on this definition and the above discussion, we conclude that the recycling system is a regulated monopoly and can fairly be considered a public utility.”
So, if Mr. Linton rejects my opinion as being biased (which is indeed biased toward reason if nothing else), then perhaps he can accept that of an independent third party hired by the BCMB.
General Science Works
Brownfield of Dreams
There is a misleading statement in the Final Analysis column by Adam Chamberlain in the April/May edition that I believe requires clarification. The first two sentences read “Imagine playing golf on what was once a municipal waste landfill. That’s exactly what people will do one day in the out-skirts of Toronto atop what was once the Keele Valley Landfill.” If this is in reference to the Eagle’s Nest Golf Course that is currently under construction, this course in not atop the fill area or within any part of the lands that are legally owned by the City of Toronto but is in the area know as the Secondary Bufferlands. Furthermore, the course is actually separated from the fill area by the lands know as the Primary Bufferlands. I believe that at its closest location, the golf course boundary is 150 metres from the edge of fill.
Mark E. Samis,
M. Sc., MBA, P. Geo.
Director of Projects & Operations
Environmental Waste International Inc.
[“That’s not a birdie, that’s a seagull!.” — ed.]