Site powered by Infolink MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Most Canadians have no idea how seriously Bill C-38 will affect their lives

There’s disturbing news in the budgets of both Ontario and the federal government. Both levels of government are using massive so-called budget bills to sneak through legislation that guts protection for our environment.

For instance, Ontario’s Budget Bill 55 changes the Endangered Species Act so that industrial wind turbine and solar companies will not longer have to apply for permits to kill, harass or destroy the habitat of species at risk.

Recovery strategies for species at risk – blueprints to help endangered species survive – can now be delayed by a year with no public notice and no reasons given.

The federal government’s omnibus Budget Bill C-38 replaces the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, allowing the federal government to crack down on charities, including environmental groups, which advocate for better laws and policies. It overrides National Energy Board decisions and rushes projects through a weaker environmental review process in order to “fast track” industrial development,.

And there’s more: reduced protection for fish and fish habitats, exempting pipelines and power lines from the Navigable Waters Act and reduced protection for species at risk.

Over 600 Parks Canada workers will be laid off – over 20% of the staff. Seismic testing will allow increased offshore drilling and publicly-owned grasslands – a critical habitat for many avian species at risk – will be leased out for field cropping.

Elizabeth May says: “In spite of the fact that most Canadians have no idea how seriously Bill C-38 will affect their lives, the Senate is about to begin hearings so that Conservative Senators can vote on it as soon as possible. This railroading version of democracy is tragic for Canada.”

These changes—hidden in a budget bill in the hopes that Canadians wouldn’t notice—are threatening the core values all Canadians hold dear: nature and democracy. Silence is not an option. To protest against this gutting of environmental protection, many environmental groups will darken their websites on June 4th.

Black Out Speak Out groups will darken websites nationwide to protest against the government’s efforts to silence Canadians. The campaign will invite organizations, businesses and citizens from across Canada to darken their websites on June 4, and speak out against these changes.

Participating environmental organizations include CPAWS, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice, Equiterre, Environmental Defence, Greenpeace, Nature Canada, Ontario Nature, Pembina Institute, Sierra Club Canada, West Coast Environmental Law, and WWF Canada.

For more information, visit http://blackoutspeakout.ca/

* * *

The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, founded in 1997, is an affiliate of Ontario Nature. It provides an educational forum dedicated to the study, promotion, appreciation and conservation of the flora and fauna within Prince Edward County. The public is welcome at the meetings held on the last Tuesday of the month from September to May, except December, at Bloomfield Town Hall. Guest speakers introduce a variety of nature related topics. All members are encouraged to participate at meetings by sharing their experiences and observations. Regularly scheduled field trips in the vicinity offer members the opportunity to experience various habitats. Membership in PECFN is open to all. Contact: Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, P.O. Box 477, Bloomfield, Ontario K0K 1G0 Or Cheryl Anderson 613-471-1096

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePEC Field Naturalists

About the Author:

RSSComments (10)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Lori Smith says:

    Sorry for the typo, PAULA Peel

  2. Lori Smith says:

    @Paul Peel – check out this blog on CountyLive.ca for more information on the damage that allowing Bill C-38 to pass will result in ….
    http://countylive.ca/blog/?p=25380

  3. Doris Lane says:

    Fed bill C38 and Provincial budget bill 55
    are only there to help promote big business and big oil which is the same as big wind
    Governments only cater to where their nxt vote is coming from–they do not care about the average citizen

  4. Paula Peel says:

    I only half-heartedly support this initiative and the story behind it, i.e., of sneaking legislation through. It seems to me that the federal government needed to do something to tighten the rules concerning charities. This was abundantly clear after David Suzuki’s meeting with Premier McGuinty in Stanley Park last year(if not before), and to a video that was made of the meeting where Suzuki endorsed McGuinty’s Green Energy Plan. Many people rightly questioned whether the Suzuki Foundation was overstepping its bounds – was this really a charitable organization or was it an activist / lobbyist group pure and simple? The whole point of the special federal exemption for charitable status is that it gives Canadians a way to support organizations work in Canada as a charity. A lot of people including myself thought that the David Suzuki Foundation had over-stepped the boundaries as a charitable organization and a lot of people including myself wrote Revenue Canada to complain about that. If the intent of Bill C 38 in the budget bill is to ensure that foundations like the David Suzuki Foundation would have to conform to the same rules as other charitable organizations in Canada then I support Bill C-38. Likewise if David Suzuki Foundation wants to retain its charitable status then all power to them, but at least play by the rules and try to behave like a charity!

    Bill 55 is another story: I agree that the Ontario government is sneaking through legislation that will give carte blanche to the renewable energy sector to kill, harm and harass Ontario’s endangered species. That said, however, where was the David Suzuki Foundation and certain other renowned environmental organizations like Sierra Club and Ecojustice when Gilead Power requested a permit to kill, harm and harass whip-poor-will and Blandings Turtle? The irony is that some of the environmental groups that are making a lot of noise now about Schedule 19 in Budget Bill 55 but where were they when they were really needed, i.e., where were they when renewable energy companies were actually requesting permits to kill, harm, and harass and permits for “overall benefit to the species”? They have been watching from the sidelines. When they were not prepared anyway to do what it would take to protect endangered species I can’t help but wonder why does it really matter to them whether Section 19 gets passed or not?

    _______________
    The federal government’s omnibus Budget Bill C-38 replaces the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, allowing the federal government to crack down on charities, including environmental groups, which advocate for better laws and policies.

  5. David Norman says:

    This scenario is not new! In the 40+ years I have been involved in “environmental” causes, the erosion of environmental legislation has been the status quo. While much environmental legislation has been introduced over these years, inevitably it becomes crippled by amendments and compromises as the needs of corporate economic growth (capitalism) come into conflict with it. Environmental victories in respect to legislation are from my perspective, always bitter-sweet and short lived. And I find it difficult to rally behind the “Environmental” Non Governmental Organizations (ENGOs) like The David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, Ecojustice and The Sierra Club, among others, since their application of “democratic” virtue is demonstratively arbitrary. I cannot offer support to organizations who for example, while they endorse legislation like the Green Energy Act which stripped municipal government of any legal self determination in regards to Industrial Wind Turbine development… and I must add in the absence of scientific prudence… cry foul when the inherently fascist nature of omnibus legislation compromises their political interests or ideological version of social/eco justice. Actually, the Federal Conservative Bill C-38 and Ontario Liberal Budget Bill 55 are an enormous boost to the “bottom line” of these ENGOs. I dearly wish I had a side to take, an integrity to respect, a politic that was truly democratic/representative… meanwhile the displacement, disenfranchisement and destruction of life continues unabated.

  6. [...] Changes to environmental rules such as allowing the federal government to crack down on charities, including environmental groups, which advocate for better laws and policies; fast-tracking of big-corp projects through a weaker environmental review process; reduced protection for fish and fish habitats, exempting pipelines and power lines from the Navigable Waters Act and reduced protection for species at risk; laying off of over 600 Parks Canada workers; increased offshore drilling and publicly-owned grasslands. [...]

  7. Denis says:

    Heather, the aim is to raise awareness so people take action and make their voice heard.

  8. Barney B says:

    Also I hope this doesn’t let the Amaranth/ Hornings Mills mega quarry pass. Another great move where the government is selling us out. If you are unaware of this google up the mega quarry and read about it. A huge environmental upset if allowed. The David Suzuki Foundation is as well in on the fight. It’s certainly not our pockets getting lined.

  9. Barney B says:

    We vote these parties in but that’s where our vote stops. If only we could see in the crystal ball.

  10. So how is darkening the websites going to stop them from voting on this Bill.

HOME     LOCAL     BLOGS     MARKETPLACE     COMMUNITY     CONTACT US
© Copyright Prince Edward County News countylive.ca 2014 • All rights reserved.