DRAIN-DOWN OF MISSISSAGI RIVER PARALELLS WEAKENING OF CANADA’S ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS
June 4th, 2010 - 4:00am
Ottawa – If the Federal Government has its way, the rights of the public will be at the back of the line when it comes time to decide between the environment and profits, says MP Carol Hughes.
“They call it streamlining, we call it coded language that means taking away public rights to (public) property,” said Hughes of the planned changes to triggers for Canada’s Federal Environmental Assessment Process during debate on the government’s omnibus budget bill. It is a process of “reducing corporate responsibility and endangering the good of the public.”
Hughes used the Brascan drawdown of the Missassagi River in Tunnel Lake and upstream to illustrate a profits- before-people choice, the type she fears will carry the day under successive budgets loaded with Environment threatening measures.
“A Brazillian company is draining the Mississagi River, affecting the water levels, destroying access to Rocky Island Lake and it is in the process of doing the same to Tunnel Lake,” said Hughes in her comments on the budget bill. “This is actually affecting the survival of the tourist industry and it affects the main stem of the river.”
The omnibus budget bill has been widely criticized for including many non-budgetary items and being so large that it could not possibly be properly examined in a short amount of time. The Government successfully moved closure on the bill Thursday making today the final day of debate for the bill.