This week MP Ryan Leef voted in favour of a 400-page budget bill that amends over 70 different acts and devotes an astonishing 150 pages to weakening laws to protect our environment.
The Conservatives claim that this “streamlining” of environmental legislation is so important that it has to be passed right away.
So why didn’t we hear about it until now? Why didn’t they campaign on it in the last election? And why are the Conservatives ramming all these changes through Parliament and refusing to break up the mammoth bill so that all its parts can be properly studied?
The Conservatives are trying to avoid public scrutiny by cramming major environmental changes into a sweeping “kitchen sink” bill. They want to eliminate federal environmental assessments for all but a few projects and do less comprehensive reviews where they still occur. They want to eliminate protection for fish habitat, despite the fact that you don’t have fish without a habitat!
All of this comes on top of announcements of 900 positions to be cut at Environment Canada.
Mr. Leef and the Conservatives didn’t campaign on gutting environmental regulations, yet they are trying to pass them under the radar. Mr. Leef needs to come clean to his constituents about his hidden agenda of environmental destruction.
Kirsty Duncan, MP
Liberal Critic for the Environment