Bray: Why does Harper hate our environment?

Bray: Why does Harper hate our environment?

Postby Oscar » Mon May 17, 2010 9:14 pm

To the Editor:

Why does Harper hate our environment?

Mike Bray May 14, 2010

Stephen Harper has cynically placed changes that will gut the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in the budget. M. P. s are forced to pass the budget with this regressive legislation in it or force an election by voting against the budget. Some choice!

These changes will allow the government to avoid doing detailed environmental assessments on large projects by breaking the projects up into smaller pieces. The Supreme Court has recently ruled that breaking the assessment of projects up like this is against the law. No problem to Mr. Law and Order Harper. Approving a project after looking at only a small part of it is like buying a house when you have only inspected the driveway. It makes no sense. Many projects will be exempt from environmental assessments.

These changes will also assign environmental assessment for pipeline and nuclear energy projects- some of the most dangerous to the environment- to the National Energy Board and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which have little expertise in doing environmental assessments, rather than the experts at the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. This will inevitably result in bad decisions.

It is undemocratic for the government to gut environmental assessment law through the Budget, without any consultation at all.

A motion was introduced in the House of Commons by an opposition M.P. to split the Budget bill to allow the study of the non-financial aspects of the budget to be dealt with separately. Unfortunately, it was defeated. The Budget bill is now before the Finance Committee.

I urge all citizens to contact all Members of Parliament and urge them to stop this regressive step now.

Saskatchewan should be extra wary of these developments. We have large reserves of low quality carbon- heavy oil, oil shale, tarsands, lignite- and corporations want to develop them at the least possible cost to the corporations. We have a provincial government that has gone soft on nuclear waste and is gutting our provincial environmental regulations. We have the Nuclear Waste Management Organization- a nuclear industry organization- sniffing around Saskatchewan as a possible dump site for Ontario’s nuclear waste.

Bad things happen when good people do nothing. I am not a tree hugger, I just believe we should be trying to get a few more miles out of the human race. Interested?

Mike Bray
Indian Head, SK
Oscar
Site Admin
 
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