LETTER: College of Applied Biology’s findings have significant implications to Saanich staff

LETTER: College of Applied Biology’s findings have significant implications to Saanich staff

I find the article on Ted Lea being found guilty of ethics violations very troubling. However, it appears to have significant implications beyond Lea. The Saanich manager of Environmental Services, Adriane Pollard, is also a registered professional biologist. I have viewed transcripts from Lea’s hearing, and in final arguments, the College of Applied Biology’s (CAB) lawyer indicated that Lea’s ultimate conclusions with respect to the various properties, are probably right. This has significant implications for Pollard, who rejected every one of Lea’s assessments, as it would mean that Pollard’s recommendations to Saanich council are probably incorrect. This would include all 28 properties mentioned in the article.

Council members confirmed this when they visited the properties. This appears to have huge ethical implications. Pollard put in the initial complaint regarding Lea without telling him, without telling us (her clients) and without telling Saanich council. If we had known about the complaint, we could have hired a second biologist to confirm Lea’s assessment of our property. Pollard is also a member of the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT). If the college sees that Lea is in conflict of interest, wouldn’t they see what Pollard has done as being the same or worse?

Wouldn’t Pollard also be required to provide her employer and us applicants with a full report, meeting the CAB requirements and her factsheet requirements with objective scientific and technical arguments in the evaluation of Lea’s reports, if she was to reject them? Instead, Pollard provided a report that she commissioned from a non-registered biologist with no field data, no limitations, who did not actually access our properties and did not view the properties at the appropriate time of year. Wouldn’t these reports be viewed by CAB with the same filter as Lea’s reports and point to a breach of the code of ethics? CAB’s expert, who was provided with the Tudor Staff Report at the hearing, indicated that these two actions were inappropriate for these Saanich staff commissioned reports.

I believe that the decisions by CAB have significant implications to Saanich staff, and to how Saanich council should view this issue.

John Barrand