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Canadian Budget (C-9) to Gut Environmental Oversight, More Privatization and EI Theft
06-05-2010, 11:15 AM,
#1
Canadian Budget (C-9) to Gut Environmental Oversight, More Privatization and EI Theft
Sometimes when the Green Part and Environmental movement get their head out of the gaping ass of global warming, they bring something worthwhile to our attention. This is one such instance, at least in part. Disturbing that they coat it by sending the message that nuclear power = bad and oil exploration, thus energy independence = bad.

The good thing they back is going against the gutting of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, how could the controlled opposition not oppose this, given their party credo. Oversight is needed as a last line of defence against unhindered corporate exploitation of the environment.

Alberta has already gutted their environmental oversight budget/staff (by 5/6ths) to try to better hide environmental debacles created by oil and other industries and allow them to run rampant over water resources, wetlands and Alberta's wilderness without public recourse or even any real monitoring of what they are doing. They did however dole out billions for green projects to energy companies. On top of that they redefined, in very vague terms, what a body of water is giving more latitude to interpret what a stream, lake, pond and river are in relation to pollution allowances.

The budget bill also lumps in some things that work towards CETA. It also takes away from Employment Insurance (EI) fund that Canadians have paid into topping it to a great surplus is outright theft.

I haven't read over C-9 in its entirety yet but there are probably more nuggets to uncover in the details.

Quote:Budget Implementation Bill (C-9) Backgrounder

Non-Budgetary Matters must be removed from the Budget Implementation Bill (C-9) before vote in the House.

Since early April 2010 the Green Party of Canada has called upon Opposition leaders to stand firm and refuse the Budget Implementation Bill (C-9) in its current form until the non-budgetary matters are removed. Currently Bill C-9 includes a series of changes to various critical areas important to Canadians:

* Amendments to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) that weaken the legislation that helps protect our environment and communities from reckless development and projects
* Giving Cabinet the right to sell all or part of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited without any public consultation in regards to management of nuclear waste for example
* Changes to Canada Post allowing foreign letter exporters to collect letters in Canada for delivery abroad
* Amendments that remove the EI Account from the Accounts of Canada retroactive to January 1, 2009. The EI account, with a $57-billion surplus, will be replaced with the new EI Operating Account, which will have a $13 to $15 billion deficit by the end of this year

A Budget bill should only pertain to the budget. It should not be used as a way to force changes to other laws. The vote on Bill C-9 is expected early next week (date & time to be confirmed). Constant fear of going to an election must not hold our parliament hostage to the point where our laws and regulations are undermined.

In particular the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA).will be gutted through the upcoming budget implementation legislation; legislation that will pass given the reluctance to enter into an election. Bill C-9 will allow the narrowing of environmental assessments to the point of meaninglessness.

In 2009, the Budget Implementation Bill was used to gut the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA). In the crosshairs of the 2010 Budget bill is the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Despite the fact that CEAA is meant to be undergoing its mandatory five-year Parliamentary review, the Conservative government has included provisions to weaken it in the Budget bill. Proposed changes include giving power to the Minister to decide which aspects of a project should be included (scoped) in an assessment and removal of the requirement for public consultation on projects subject to a Comprehensive Study. The changes would also exempt projects funded through infrastructure money flowing to municipalities or First Nations.

Perhaps even more concerning is the proposal included in the Budget Implementation Bill to move energy projects out of the CEAA mandate and giving jurisdiction to the National Energy Board or the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The National Energy Board is not an appropriate decision making body for environmental projects. With the Conservative government hoping to conduct oil and gas development in Arctic waters, it is more important than ever that CEAA remain strong, to protect sensitive ecosystems and to give Canadians a proper voice in these decisions.

We have all watched the results of weakened environmental regulation in the Gulf of Mexico and this is not what we want for Canada. Measures should be tightened to protect our environment and communities not weakened.

Read the press release >>

For more information: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/05/25/federal-budget-bill-has-all-parties-looking-bad/
http://greenparty.ca/fix-c-9/background?utm_campaign=C10.C9
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