Bill C-38 annihilates environmental legislation

Is the average Canadian citizen even aware that Stephen Harper’s government is trying to push through what it is calling this Budget Implementation Act, a.k.a. Bill C-38 [“Vancouver-based environmentalist Jessica Clogg ‘blown away’ by response to national website blackout campaign”, web-only]?

Environmental groups are against Bill C-38 and it’s undemocratic because this Budget Implementation Act has little to do with the budget. Fully 30 percent of the 420-page bill is actually not about the budget at all.

Instead of addressing budget matters, the act brings in sweeping changes to Canada’s environmental laws.

It repeals the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and introduces a weaker version, without a single day of hearings before the environment committee. It also removes protection of endangered species and their habitats when approving pipeline projects by amending the Species at Risk Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act.

In addition, it guts the Fisheries Act by removing provisions for habitat protection. It repeals the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, and eliminates the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.

Omnibus bills subvert the parliamentary process by denying members of Parliament and the Canadian public the ability to fully study or understand the drastic changes being made to our laws without proper study or scrutiny.

This bill is an embarrassment. The rest of the world must be shaking its head at Canada and our parliamentary process.

> Christine Ho / Vancouver

Comments

19 Comments

Sad

Jun 7, 2012 at 9:04am

Just one more reason to be disappointed in Canada's broken politics and the Harpers' greedy careless actions

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Herry69

Jun 7, 2012 at 9:50am

the longer harper and the corruption party stay in power, the worst this country becomes. that is a 100% fact !!!!!

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Cole

Jun 7, 2012 at 2:02pm

Ok, I've actually looked into this one pretty good.

What this article is not telling you is the main "changes" aren't harmful to the environment. The changes to the acts and writing of new acts was to remove the energy board from being in control, and instead place the last word in the hands of ministers.
The reason the "environmentalists" (not really) are choked is because it cuts off their "charitable" status, and sets rules to who they can accept funding from if they are going to lobby the Canadian Government, hence the "blackout" of the David Suzuki foundation; The Sierra Club; and Greenpeace.

I find it absolutely disgusting how these enviro-fakies are trying to spin this as "undemocratic".

Harper was elected to a majority government by Canadians (!), to take care of the BS that's been going on. He's making it harder for foreign interests to lobby our government. He's taking the power out of the hands of unaccountable appointed officials (energy board) and putting it into the hands of elected officials who are accountable to the public.

The argument that what's been done is wrong or undemocratic is plain stupid.

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Martin Dunphy

Jun 7, 2012 at 4:34pm

Cole:

The above "article" is actually a letter to the editor, as indicated at the top.
And the use of the term <em>majority government</em> does not necessarily mean said government was elected by a "majority" of Canadians.

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Christopher Stephens

Jun 7, 2012 at 4:54pm

I am not so much socialist as someone who wants capitalism with public interest restraints. How about centre governence for Canada? Balance! This destroys balance. Rather than remove this legislation, we need to add protection. We need new laws to support protection for birds, we need to add bird reserves to control pests and support biodiversity, and support mixed land use. In the meantime, local governments need to adopt large scale park purchase and mixed greenbelt communities

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Cole

Jun 7, 2012 at 5:26pm

Martin,

The Conservatives won 167 seats,
The NDP - 102
Liberals - 34
Bloc Québécois with four
Green Party with one.

Do the math, the majority is clearly Conservative.
In democracy, the majority rules.
This is what they were elected for.

Before you try to get into the robocalls scandal, I got one of those calls, and I, like the majority, vote Conservative.

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Martin Dunphy

Jun 7, 2012 at 5:32pm

Cole:

Please read my second sentence again.

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Gene Logan

Jun 7, 2012 at 7:10pm

What's being done is highly undemocratic.

Our parliamentary democracy is, at it's essence, an honour system. In a first past the post system, those holding the reigns of power are normally bound by parliamentary tradition to play fair. This applies even more so in the case of Mr Harper whose gov't has a majority of seats, but nowhere near a majority of the popular vote (39.62%).That this has not been the case with the Harpist gov't speaks volumes about the lack of honour of those involved.

There has never been an assault on our parliamentary traditions like Bill C-38. If this gov't is honourable, then why the need to engage in dirty Alabama-style politics. Omnibus bills should be banned. A budget bill is a budget bill, not a hammer with which to silence your opposition.

Urge your MP to propose banning omnibus legislation.

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Korporal

Jun 7, 2012 at 8:03pm

"Before you try to get into the robocalls scandal, I got one of those calls, and I, like the majority, vote Conservative."
Sick of this right-winger B.S.
Jesus Christ, Cole, get that stick out of your ass.

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jean

Jun 7, 2012 at 8:16pm

For sure Harpo's trolls are out in full force, spewing the dictator's garbage.

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