Movement to protect nature and democracy in Canada will continue to
TORONTO, June 19, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, our elected Members of Parliament
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.
"This bill marks a step backwards for our democracy and economy, as well
as for the protection of the air, water and land on which we and our
children depend," said Peter Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of the
David Suzuki Foundation. "By weakening environmental laws and
smothering the voices of First Nations and other concerned Canadians it
will undermine communities, add to our economic uncertainty and inhibit
investment over the long term."
The gutting of environmental safeguards means that Canadians will face
increasing risk from big projects like new pipelines, and will have
fewer opportunities to participate in the review processes before they
"This budget ignores the true goals of Canadians by changing our laws to
fast-track risky major infrastructure projects like the Northern
Gateway pipeline," said Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental
Defence. "Gutting of environmental safeguards and democratic process
puts all Canadians at risk."
"Concerns about democracy and nature won't just go away because the bill
has passed," said Éric Hébert-Daly, National Executive Director,
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. "This marks the beginning of a
new sustained effort to mobilize Canadians to speak out for nature and
democracy. We're more committed than ever to providing the means for
everyone who cares about the future of our environment and our
democratic rights to have a voice."
"Nurses are very concerned about the health of Canadians and the budget
bill increases risk to Canadians of factors that contribute to ill
health - poverty, environmental degradation and reduced access to
services and social supports," said Linda Silas, President of the
Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions.
"Ignoring democracy and silencing First Nations in environmental
assessments of major projects will only bring conflict to our
territories," said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the B.C.
Union of Indian Chiefs. "It is time for people to put down their
Starbucks and wake up: this bill will define the future of our country
in ways we may not want. We need to remember the hard lessons of
Clayoquot Sound, Ipperwash and Oka."
This isn't the direction Canadians want their country to go. On June 4,
more than 600 organizations and thousands of Canadians came together to
speak with one voice, taking part in online actions to oppose Bill
C-38, including darkening their websites. That week, #blackoutspeakout
trended on Twitter, and almost 50,000 Canadians wrote to their Member
of Parliament to say no to the bill. Black Out Speak Out will continue
to work to protect nature, democracy, in the interest of all Canadians.
Black Out Speak Out (blackoutspeakout.ca / silenceonparle.ca) is a joint
project of Canadians Association of Physicians for the Environment
(CAPE), Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), David Suzuki
Foundation, Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, Equiterre, Greenpeace,
Nature Canada, Pembina Institute, Sierra Club Canada, West Coast
Environmental Law, and WWF Canada.
SOURCE Black Out Speak Out
For further information:
For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact:
Stephanie Kohls, Communications Director, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 232; 647-280-9521 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org