SK Party supports AB court - struck down federal law

SK Party supports AB court - struck down federal law

Postby Oscar » Thu May 19, 2022 4:31 pm

Saskatchewan Energy Minister Bronwyn Eyre supports an Alberta court ruling that struck down a federal law on energy project approval

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May 19, 2022 Jim Elliott

What is clear from Minister Bronwyn Eyre’s statements to the press about the recent Alberta court decision, is that she or her government don’t grasp the concept of the existential threat to life on this planet coming from the various projects proposed and covered under the federal legislation and the need to address climate change.

(The Alberta Court of Appeal last week struck down new federal legislation that changed the approval process for energy projects.)

When the Supreme Court describes climate change as “a threat of the highest order of the country, and indeed to the world”, that says to most, protection of the environment and reduction of carbon pollution must be the first thing to do, not build more pipelines and spew out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

And with the ratification of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we need to be truthful to their needs in this matter as well. Climate change threatens “the ability of Indigenous communities to sustain themselves and maintain their traditional ways of life.”

The pipelines that the minister touts as being essential to the strength of the province’s economy are long gone. This industry is going to disappear substantially off the planet over the next couple of decades.

And to expend billions of dollars into what will become stranded assets is irresponsible economically even if one was only worried about the shareholders of those corporations.

Building pipelines full of fossil fuels leads to excessive carbon dioxide and will continue to kill us quickly, quietly and inevitably.

The misguided interpretation of the federal legislation as a pipeline killer can only be seen when you are actively lobbying for the fossil fuel corporations who wish to continue polluting our air and not representing all the public, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Fossil fuel use will never be sustainable.

Further, this legislation is not encroaching on the legislative control for resource extraction. Just as in the carbon tax reference case decided by the Supreme Court of Canada, climate change does not stay within borders and must be dealt with as a national threat or risk in all things we do.

Survival on the planet trumps energy affordability, energy sustainability and energy independence. And we can build affordability, sustainability and independence without fossil fuels. Dealing with the climate emergency with renewables and efficiencies are the first steps to resilience, not blue hydrogen or small modular nuclear reactors, not now, not ever.

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Jim Elliott is the chairperson of the Regina chapter of the Council of Canadians.
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