source: Globe & Mail
by Shawn McCarthy and John Ibbitson
Proposed legislation will streamline and focus on projects of national economic significance; provinces will handle others
The Harper government is about to dramatically shrink the federal oversight of proposed natural resource developments, handing over environmental reviews for many projects to the provinces and cutting back the number of smaller construction projects that are subject to any environmental assessment.
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is expected to unveil a sweeping legislative plan on Tuesday that will focus Ottawa's role in environmental assessments to projects it deems to be of national significance.
source: Huffington Post
Gillian McEachern, Deputy Campaign Director, Environmental Defence
Everyone knows that there are always winners and losers come federal budget time. Yesterday's budget, however, built on the emerging dynamic in federal politics where Big Oil wins big time at the expense of all Canadians -- our health, our right to open and democratic debate, and our pocketbooks.
Like rules that prevent smoking in the office or putting your kid in a car without a seatbelt, protecting citizens' health and livelihoods from a polluted environment is a Canadian social norm. Will this week's budget roll back established legal protections for our environment and put public health and safety at risk?
by Jessica Clogg, The Hill Times, Monday March 26, 2012, page 13
Margaret Munro, Postmedia News, Monday March 19, 2012
Scientists are calling on the Harper government to scrap plans to weaken the federal Fisheries Act, saying it will "severely impair" Canada's ability to protect biodiversity and species at risk.
They also want Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield to come clean about what scientists inside his own department think of the proposed changes.
Global BC (Canadian Press)
Heather Scoffield, Canadian Press, Monday, February 20, 2012 1:48 PM
OTTAWA - A group of environmental lawyers, doctors and academics says the federal government will endanger health and safety if it curtails the environmental assessment process in a "haphazard" way.
They fear the federal government, in its zeal to streamline approvals for resource projects, is developing a process that would be blind to long-term effects on people and communities.
(Ian Campbell, 660 News)
Leading public health physicians, ecologists, environmental lawyers, groups and academics warn it's time to change this country's assessment laws.
Stakeholders fear budget slashing could create dramatic cuts putting both the public's health and safety at risk.
The group has published a list of ten foundational elements that any strong assessment law needs.