A personal view of Knowlton, Quebec, the Eastern Townships most beautiful village.

Teknika Report Delayed Again
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Are we getting taken for a ride?Lakes around the Eastern Townships are already starting to be affected by blooms of cyanobacteria and blue green algae and this earlier than usual start to the water problems in Quebec seems to be a grave foreboding of what is to come. While citizens of Brome Lake are being re-assured by all levels of Government that action is being taken to fight the problem it seems to most people that it is a lot of talk and not much action.

We’re all still waiting for this plan of action from Teknika, the engineering firm with the mandate to collect and decipher information to come up with a long term action plan for the cleaning of the lake, and some folks are busy looking at the calendar and tapping their watches wondering when exactly this master plan will arrive.

Some cynics moan that Teknika has bit off more than they can chew and maybe don’t even have the environmental know-how or life-science qualifications to present a viable plan. That is unlikely since Teknika HBA have decades of experience in large projects although the extent of their knowledge of living aquatic systems may be an issue for discussion. We’ll have to wait and see. The thing is, so far, all we have been doing is waiting!

Teknika has sent representative Pierre Bertrand to press conferences with the Town to demonstrate they are serious about attacking the problem with conviction. That sounds great and makes for powerful headlines! Mr. Bertrand said that one gram of phosphor equals 500 grams of algae and it was “as simple as that”. If things were so simple then one would think that cutting the phosphor that gets into the lake and sealing out the existing phosphor that is in the lake is the answer. Is that simple? Not on your life!

Robert Lapalme, guest speaker at the RLB meeting, said that a radical mindshift would be required to get people off of their obsessions with perfect lawns and the agricultural community would have to basically re-invent itself. This is radical talk and Teknika is likely not going to be proposing any paradigm shift in thinking but will instead use their decades of experience in infrastructural engineering to create a massive project involving massive engineering and, likely, more tax dollars.

The troublesome thing for many residents is that Teknika is taking longer than they were supposed to deliver their report and recommendations and with many lakes starting to suffer from algae blooms in early June they want to know that the Town isn’t just wasting their tax dollars by paying a large engineering firm to come up with an environmental solution. Would we rather see an action plan written by David Suzuki or by Bill Gates…both are experts but are they both as equally qualified for the job?

So where is this Teknika report/plan that was due some time ago? What ever happened to time tables? Some folks think it will be interesting to know how much of our tax dollars being spent to restore the lake will be going into consultants coffers. Regardless of the eventual cost one thing is certain...if completing this report was a task on Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” then team Teknika would have been brought to the boardroom and unceremoniously fired for un-pardonable delays and failure to complete the task on time and they would be sleeping in tents!

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