Ecojustices quick reaction re: Bill C-45 and what it means for the environment, particularly pipelines.
Paving the way for pipelines – industry wins, environment loses, more bad news for Canadians
BY KIMBERLY SHEARON LAST MODIFIED OCT 18, 2012 12:54 PM
FILED UNDER: NORTHERN GATEWAY, FEDERAL REGULATIONS
OCT 18, 2012 12:54 PM
Oct 18, 2012
VANCOUVER A second omnibus bill, C-45, tabled today by the federal government picks up where last springs budget bill left off, and further eliminates environmental hurdles for projects like Enbridges Northern Gateway pipeline.
Buried in the 457-page bill are changes to the laws that once protected Canadas waterways, including the neutering of the Navigable Waters Protection Act. As a result, of the 32,000 or so lakes in Canada, only 97 are still protected by this law.
Pipelines however, are also directly exempted from this law. Under the Act, pipeline impacts on Canadas waterways will no longer be considered in environmental assessments.
Simply put, lakes, rivers and streams often stand in the path of large industrial development, particularly pipelines. This bill, combined with last springs changes, hands oil, gas and other natural resource extraction industries a free pass to degrade Canadas rich natural legacy, said Devon Page, executive director of Ecojustice.
With this bill, the federal governments position is very clear: building pipeline projects like Northern Gateway and making way for increased tanker traffic is more important than safeguarding Canadas rivers, lakes, streams and oceans. If you fish or play our waters, or care what goes in your water glass, you should be alarmed.
The bill also contains changes to Canada Shipping Act, Hazardous Materials Information Review Act, and further changes to the Fisheries Act.
Bill C-45 follows in the wake of Bill C-38, the highly controversial omnibus budget bill unveiled by the federal government last spring. The bill, which pushed through sweeping changes to landmark environmental laws like the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Fisheries Act, become a flashpoint for nation-wide protests and a target of international criticism.
The federal government is giving these industries more than they have ever asked for, all at the expense of average Canadians who want to ensure that we protect our natural legacy for our kids, Page said.
To arrange an interview, please contact:
Kimberly Shearon, communications coordinator | Ecojustice
Page EnviroLaw Watch
Communications Coordinator | Ecojustice
214-131 Water Street, Vancouver BC, V6B 4M3
T: 604.685.5618 ext. 242 M: 778.988.1530
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