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May 09, 2013 - SOS corrects the “corrected” record

posted May 9, 2013, 2:12 PM by SOS SaveOceanScience   [ updated May 10, 2013, 11:19 AM ]
May 09, 2013 - SOS corrects the “corrected” record

While not wanting to get too deep into a letters page debate, it is important that I correct some of the assertions made by John Williamson in his May 8, 2013, letter entitled John Williamson corrects the record.  In this, Mr. Williamson claims that the committee “presented it (the proposal) to me … last summer”.

Williamson did, in fact, meet with Save Ocean Science (SOS) last August. During the meeting we discussed our concerns about the closures and cuts at the St Andrews Biological Station.  However, we did not present Mr. Williamson with a proposal regarding the library.  Indeed, the proposal had not even been developed yet.  What we did discuss during that meeting was the need to retain the holdings in St Andrews and to meet with the Minister, both of which our MP appeared to support at the time.

In March of this year we requested to meet with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and provided him with a proposal that we would further detail at a meeting.  Mr. Williamson was given a copy of this proposal.  While the Minister declined to meet with us, we will be meeting with a senior DFO public servant later this week.  Despite Mr. Williamson’s claims, our ideas regarding cost savings and research capacity in relation to the research library in St Andrews have not yet been heard by his government and will not be until our meeting with the senior official from DFO on Friday.

To state that I have “ made up things” indicates that his recollection of the meeting is faulty.  Further, SOS is not a “political pressure group” as Williamson characterizes us in his letter. Instead, we are a grassroots group of citizens representing the interests of the community.  We believe that the logic behind the decisions to further reduce support to the scientific capacity of Southwest New Brunswick is ill thought out, does not make economic sense and, ultimately, will cost the taxpayer more than leaving these holdings where they are needed and used.

I am disappointed that Mr Williamson continues to refuse to meet with the SOS committee, preferring to attack me personally in the media.

Caroline Davies
Save Ocean Science (SOS Ocean Science)