Risk can’t be ignored

What is the purpose of the permit requirement if not to protect people?

For many risks, politicians would be railing in the streets about risk of a life-threatening condition occurring in a small municipality once every year and a half on average.

That’s the risk from carbon  monoxide poisoning that Oak Bay’s mayor excuses in your Dec. 12 issue, regarding apparent leakage from rock blasting.

It’s strange behaviour by a government that is concerned about increased levels of what feeds us – carbon  dioxide, which is essential to plant growth. Hopefully they aren’t confusing the two gases whose risk is very different, some people do.

As well, a pernicious notion is that government should be exempt from responsibility for issuing the permit. What is the purpose of the permit requirement if not to protect people? Worse, Oak Bay fire department and other government functionaries let work continue without proper investigation, according to what you report. Now people are clamouring for more regulations – but those will require someone to act on. Don’t fire and police people already have authority to address an immediate threat to life?

By the way, you should name the contractor involved so a company that does not halt work on its own initiative when there is an apparent problem can be avoided in choosing a service supplier. (And the company’s insurer might want to ask questions about risk management.)

Keith Sketchley

Saanich