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Canadians do not want environment gutted by Trojan horse budget: Hughes

Friday, May 11, 2012   by: Staff



Canadians do not want environment gutted by Trojan horse budget

OTTAWA - Canadians never voted to gut environmental regulations and protective legislation like the Fisheries Act but that is what the government is doing with its omnibus budget according to Carol Hughes. 

The MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing says the budget is stuffed with so many environmental regulatory and legislative changes it is being referred as a Trojan horse.

The Official Opposition are demanding the government divide the budget into more manageable pieces of legislation claiming the sheer size and scope of the budget defies  reasonable scrutiny in parliament and by appropriate committees.

“It is the omnibus nature, the inability to fully study, and the overarching theme of haphazard environmental deregulation that most appropriately define the budget and are among the main reasons we are unable to support it,” said Hughes.

Hughes noted that Canadian families do not want regulations tossed aside simply because they are not convenient for oil companies and foreign investors.  

She told the Commons that Canadians do not want to gamble with our children’s future, but that is what a full one third of this budget does.

“We are being asked to gut environmental regulations and legislation that other parliaments have carefully considered,” said Hughes. “We are being asked to undo years and decades of work in just one week of debate.”

Hughes also poked holes in the government’s reasoning for removing protection of fish habitat from the Fisheries Act. 

She explained there were other ways to deal with minor irritants that arose from the Act that is being gutted to make way for pipelines and tailing ponds.

“Canadians get it. They understand that fish live in eco-systems that are complex webs of food items and inter-dependencies,” Hughes explained. “This is knowledge shared by elementary school students who study basic science - but is ignored by this government who is keen to remove all barriers to development so they can please their friends who want to fast-track a pipeline through some of the most pristine parts of British Columbia.”

Hughes claimed that if the government didn’t reverse their decision to gut the Fisheries Act they could face the wrath of Canadians in the next election as anglers, campers, cottagers and other outdoor enthusiasts cast their opinion into a ballot box.


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LSARC 5/11/2012 6:07:25 PM Report

“It is the omnibus nature, the inability to fully study, and the overarching theme of haphazard environmental deregulation that most appropriately define the budget and are among the main reasons we are unable to support it,”

Too bad that was not said by the Provincial NDP about the Ontario omnibus budget, then there would not be a bunch (50) of enviro-groups belatedly writing McGuinty:

Dear Premier McGuinty,

We, the undersigned, would like to voice our deep concern about Bill 55, the Strong Action for Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2012 and to request that you withdraw all schedules amending environmental legislation from the bill.

Bill 55 obstructs the public’s right to participate in environmental decision-making by circumventing the statutory process for public consultation that is normally guaranteed under the
Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993. In so doing it erodes government accountability, transparency and environmental responsibility.

Bill 55 makes substantial changes to several environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act, 2007, the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006, the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994, the Public Lands Act and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997.

A legal analysis conducted by Ecojustice and the Canadian Environmental Law Association reveals that Bill 55 significantly undermines the level of environmental protection and public oversight of natural resource use and conservation by: exempting industrial and development activities from legal requirements to protect wildlife and natural resources; broadening exemption powers; allowing the delegation of government authority to other unspecified bodies; and extending or eliminating deadlines for planning and reporting (e.g., species recovery strategies, park management plans, reports to the Legislature).

The weakening of environmental laws that were designed to protect the health of our lakes, forests and wildlife is deeply disturbing. To do so by circumventing the requirements of the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 through omnibus legislation that denies the possibility for open public debate is very troubling.

NO KIDDING! but those with a modicum of intelligence saw that coming with the Green Energy/Economy Act. Way back in 2009 Lawrence Soloman wrote for the National Post:

“Ontario’s Green Energy Act should more accurately be called Ontario’sGangreen Act.

No piece of legislation in memory will do more to simultaneously undermine Ontario’s economy and environment. This one act rolls back decades of environmental gains in the energy sphere and opens the door to a future of environmental outrages.”

And so it has come to pass.

We are stuck supporting unsustainable greed energy policies at the expense of the economy and the environment thanks to the Liberals with help from the NDP. Since energy is a Provincial matter carping about the Federal government seems like mere spitefulness.

Hats off to your colleague though, he seems to be aware of the folly of wind development. Hopefully you will at least vote with him.

MP Jean Rousseau said Sunday, during a rally on the lawn at the international Haskell Free Library, that he will also present a petition opposing two industrial-sized wind turbines in Derby near homes in Stanstead to the Canadian House of Commons this week.
Roussea is seeking a unanimous vote of support from the House of Commons for the petition.
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