Another omnibus bill further weakens nature protection
A second omnibus bill, C-45, was tabled yesterday by the federal government, picking up where last spring’s budget bill left off, furthering eliminating environmental protections, and removing hurdles for projects like Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline. Late yesterday, several major conservation groups, including Nature Canada, issued the following statement:
Once again, the federal government is proposing to make significant changes to environmental legislation without proper democratic debate, according to many of Canada’s leading environmental organizations.
Instead, these changes are contained in a sweeping omnibus budget bill.
Canadians concerned about protecting the air, water, soil and natural ecosystems that support all of us — and our economy — are doubly troubled, both by the end-run around democratic process and the potential for even more pollution and destruction of critical habitat.
The bill includes proposed changes to laws protecting fish and navigable waters, preventing harm from hazardous waste and governing the shipping industry.
We will be reviewing these changes in more detail in the coming days to determine what impact they could have on environmental protection.
We note many of these pieces of legislation were also changed by the omnibus bill in the spring. Changing the same bill twice in one year underlines the value of debating specific bills, through appropriate committees—the jobs our MPs are elected to do.
There is no need to subvert our legislative process in this manner, which only serves to heighten fears that already-weakened laws will get weaker still.
The groups issuing this statement are: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, Equiterre, Greenpeace, Nature Canada, Pembina Institute, Sierra Club Canada, West Coast Environmental Law, and WWF Canada.
Go to the Black Out Speak Out campaign Facebook page for updates.