New mini-documentary series highlights what is at stake if rollbacks to Canada’s environmental laws continue in Bill C-45
VANCOUVER. Living Democracy from the Ground Up, a new mini-documentary film series released today is part of the latest wave of pushback from concerned citizens and organisations to the federal government’s reckless gutting of Canada’s environmental safety net. Its release comes as Bill C-45, another massive ‘omnibus’ bill that weakens protections for our land and water is expected to return to the House of Commons for final stages of debate.
Living Democracy from the Ground Up takes an up close and personal view of what is at stake if the federal government continues its rollbacks of Canada’s environmental laws, including the exclusion of concerned citizens from environmental assessment hearings.
The three part series features striking on-location and archival footage in telling the stories of people who have participated in environmental assessments, including members of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation, a small business owner in the interior of BC, and former BC Supreme Court Judge Thomas Berger, in his role as Commissioner of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry.
Massive bill before Parliament further undermines Canadian democracy and environment, groups say in open letter
TORONTO (November 21, 2012) –First Nations and environmental, recreation and grassroots groups supported by more than half a million Canadianstoday issued an open letter opposing the federal government’s controversial second omnibus bill, C-45, as the proposed legislation enters final rounds of debate in Parliament this week.
“The changes proposed in this omnibus bill would further weaken Canada’s environmental laws, remove critical federal safeguards, and reduce opportunities for the public to have their say about major industrial projects that could threaten the air, water, soil and natural ecosystems on which all Canadians, and our economy, depend,” they said in the letter.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (October 18, 2012) – The federal government has repeated its anti-democratic and draconian tactics of Spring 2012 by introducing an omnibus bill that goes far beyond what is justifiable in an actual budget bill –compromising safeguards for the environment and human health without proper study and debate.
Along with over 30 other pieces of legislation, Bill C-45 again takes aim at the Navigable Waters Protection Act (now the Navigation Protection Act) and the Fisheries Act. Once used to steward a sustainable environment, clean water and healthy oceans, these foundational Canadian laws continue to be rewritten to give oil companies an easier ride.
Omnibus bill again hides big changes to environmental laws, subverting democracy, weakening protection of air, water, soil and ecosystems
TORONTO, ON AND VANCOUVER, BC (October 18, 2012) - 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 habitat.
Federal environmental assessment law passed Monday night will turn a blind eye to the potential human health and environmental impacts of many proposed projects.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA –A report card issued today by a team of environmental lawyers gives a failing grade to the federal government’s new approach to environmental assessment. The report card measures the final content of Bill C-38 - the omnibus Budget Bill passed Monday by the House of Commons - against a checklist of principles endorsed earlier this year by over 55 Canadian organisations coast to coast representing scientists, physicians, lawyers, advocates for democracy and citizen groups.
Whether it is fairness, predictability, accessibility, strengthening public participation or advancing sustainability, in every area the new law falls short.
Movement to protect nature and democracy in Canada will continue to build
Late last night, our elected Members of Parliament passed Bill C-38, ignoring thousands of Canadians who spoke up for nature and democracy. The budget, which represents sweeping changes to environmental protection laws, eases the way for industrial developments that could put the future of our land, water and climate at risk. It also attempts to silence voices of dissent against such developments by making it more difficult for environmental charities to participate in the public policy process.
“This bill marks a step backwards for our democracy and economy, as well as for the protection of the air, water and land on which we and our children depend,” said Peter Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of the David Suzuki Foundation. “By weakening environmental laws and smothering the voices of First Nations and other concerned Canadians it will undermine communities, add to our economic uncertainty and inhibit investment over the long term.”
124 signatures delivered on eve of bill’s vote
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2012
Vancouver, Ottawa - Lawyers and law professors from across Canada are calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Members of Parliament to remove proposed changes to environmental laws from the omnibus budget bill and debate them separately in Parliament.
“Including these changes in the budget bill is an underhanded way to circumvent Parliamentary and public debate” said Patrick Canning, a B.C.-based lawyer who coordinated the letter. “The public and their democratically elected representatives deserve a chance to discuss major changes to laws that are totally unrelated to the budget and will impact the well-being of all Canadians.”
June 4, 2012
Hundreds of websites darken for Black Out Speak Out
VANCOUVER – No fewer than 500 businesses and organizations and thousands of individual Canadians are uniting in collective defence of nature and democracy today as part of the Black Out Speak Out campaign.
The campaign (known in French as Silence, On Parle) culminated today in a nationwide day of action. Tens of thousands of Canadians are darkening their websites, writing to their elected representatives and speaking out through social media to protest the federal government’s smear attacks on charities, gutting of environmental laws and efforts to silence the voices of concerned citizens.
Black Out Speak Out groups will darken websites nationwide in protest against efforts to silence Canadians
Nationwide, May 6, 2012 /CNW/ - The federal government's attack on nature and democracy means "silence is not an option" for Canadians according to a national campaign, being launched Monday, May 7, by the country's leading environmental organizations.
"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," said Sidney Ribaux, executive director of Equiterre. "We are compelled to speak out and we're inviting Canadians from all walks of life to join us."
Known as Black Out Speak Out (or Silence, on parle, in French) the campaign will invite organizations, businesses and citizens from across Canada to darken their websites on June 4, and speak out against changes introduced in the federal government's budget act (C-38).
source: West Coast Environmental Law
Fisheries Act changes shaping up to be ‘give-away’ to big oil and mining companies
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (April 24, 2012) --Today’s Fisheries Act announcements are another give-away to big oil and mining companies coated in a thin veneer of conservation say environmental lawyers at the West Coast Environmental Law Association.
Upcoming rollbacks to fisheries legislation announced today would exempt many major developments from fisheries review. Elements of fish habitat not specifically listed in legislation would be stripped of protection.