Vancouver-based environmentalist Jessica Clogg “blown away” by response to national website blackout campaign
A local environmental lawyer has called the response to Black Out Speak Out, the June 4 national campaign against Bill C-38, “extraordinary”.
“It’s been an extraordinary coming together of diverse interests,” Jessica Clogg, executive director and senior counsel for West Coast Environmental Law, told the Straight on June 5. “We set out as 12 of Canada’s leading environmental groups about a month ago, and our intention was to put out a call to action. We’ve been blown away by the diversity and the strength of the response.”
Clogg emceed the Vancouver media event on June 4, which featured prominent environmentalist David Suzuki, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs Stewart Phillip, and members of several other organizations.
“We had similar media events coast to coast and the thousands of people who are engaged, it’s a pretty broad movement, and I think it’s only going to grow from here,” Clogg told the Straight.
Clogg added that in the 24 hours since the event, 530 partner groups have added their names to Black Out Speak Out and 10,000 people signed up to the campaign's Facebook page. In addition, there have been 170,000 hits on www.BlackOutSpeakOut.ca and 32,000 emails have been sent to MPs to protest C-38, according to Clogg.
“I think that Canadians deeply value nature and democracy, and that we will eventually demand the kind of strong laws that we need to protect the environment and sustain our economy,” said Clogg. “We are going to keep pushing right up until the last possible moment in June, to continue to push to have the environmental pieces split off from the budget bill and we’ll see what happens after that.”
At the June 4 media event on Southeast False Creek, former fisheries minister John Fraser said the Conservative omnibus bill is undemocratic, as it contains a budget along with many other items pertaining to fish habitat, Canada’s environmental assessment process, and even Canada’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol.
Unless any changes are made, it is expected that the bill will pass before federal lawmakers break for the summer.