Canadians do not want environment gutted by Trojan horse budget
May 10th, 2012 - 9:45pm
Ottawa – Canadians never voted to gut environmental regulations and protective legislation like the Fisheries Act but that is what the government is doing with its omnibus budget according to Carol Hughes. The MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing says the budget is stuffed with so many environmental regulatory and legislative changes it is being referred as a Trojan horse.
The Official Opposition are demanding the government divide the budget into more manageable pieces of legislation claiming the sheer size and scope of the budget defies reasonable scrutiny in parliament and by appropriate committees.
“It is the omnibus nature, the inability to fully study, and the overarching theme of haphazard environmental deregulation that most appropriately define the budget and are among the main reasons we are unable to support it,” said Hughes.
Hughes noted that Canadian families do not want regulations tossed aside simply because they are not convenient for oil companies and foreign investors. She told the Commons that Canadians do not want to gamble with our children’s future, but that is what a full one third of this budget does.
“We are being asked to gut environmental regulations and legislation that other parliaments have carefully considered,” said Hughes. “We are being asked to undo years and decades of work in just one week of debate.”
Hughes also poked holes in the government’s reasoning for removing protection of fish habitat from the Fisheries Act. She explained there were other ways to deal with minor irritants that arose from the Act that is being gutted to make way for pipelines and tailing ponds.
“Canadians get it. They understand that fish live in eco-systems that are complex webs of food items and inter-dependencies,” Hughes explained. “This is knowledge shared by elementary school students who study basic science – but is ignored by this government who is keen to remove all barriers to development so they can please their friends who want to fast-track a pipeline through some of the most pristine parts of British Columbia.”
Hughes claimed that if the government didn’t reverse their decision to gut the Fisheries Act they could face the wrath of Canadians in the next election as anglers, campers, cottagers and other outdoor enthusiasts cast their opinion into a ballot box.