Government Bill Ignores Canadians
By John Bennett
(OTTAWA, ON) – The federal government has 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.
A major clean-up operation is underway near Red Deer Alberta. More than 3000 barrels of oil leaked into the river, one of 600 leaks in the last year. There won’t be any fishing there for a long time to come.
Meanwhile, here in Ottawa, Elizabeth May made a valiant effort to confront the government with hundreds of amendments to the "budget bill". I’m proud to say Sierra Club Canada helped write many of them. While we lost this vote, we will not lose our planet.
By trampling on our democratic rights and ignoring environmental protection, the government has empowered Sierra Club Canada to be even bolder and more outspoken. We intend to raise the alarm LOUD and CLEAR and to encourage all Canadians to speak out and get involved as never before. This week, I will be speaking about environmental regulation to an audience of mostly oil industry professionals in Calgary. You can rest assured my message will not be one of defeat, but of defiance!
We intend to use every tool and resource to set Canada back on track. Blackout Speakout was an amazing start! We "radicals" formed the largest coalition of organizations ever assembled to demonstrate clearly Canadians do NOT support the destruction of our natural environment: the Grizzly Bears, the Caribou, the Wolves, the Whales, the Fish and all the splendour of nature.
This government and their backwards budget bill is not going to destroy our land, water and skies, because we are not going to allow it. Sierra Club Canada is fighting back.
They want us to fail. We will not.
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