Species at risk act needs broad airing: union



    If passed as is, negative impacts of the Act could far outweigh its
    benefits

    TORONTO, March 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Ontario's largest forestry union is one
of many groups opposing the McGuinty government's efforts to ram through
"species at risk" legislation before the end of the spring session.
    "Of course something needs to be done to protect species at risk," says
Cec Makowski, Ontario Vice-President of the Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers Union of Canada, "but this legislation has serious negative
implications for many activities that drive Ontario's economy, including
forestry, farming, agriculture, and construction, to name a few. Yet it is
being rammed through at breakneck speed without consideration for the impact
it will have on many economic sectors."
    "We need significant public consultation to occur all across Ontario, not
just in Toronto," adds Mr. Makowski, noting that "all stakeholders -- unions,
environmentalists, municipal leaders, Aboriginal groups, farmers, and others
-- should have an opportunity to air their concerns. To my knowledge, there
has been very little, if any consultation.
    "The protection of species at risk has a nice moral ring to it, but the
practical effects of this legislation, which has already passed 2nd reading,
will certainly come back to haunt this government if it is passed as is.
    "CEP has certainly not been consulted, and we have some major concerns,
especially in Northern Ontario where workers in forest-dependent communities
have already been devastated by the crisis in that sector.
    "The federal government's 'species at risk' bill took six years to become
law," concludes Makowski. "This bill has been in the works for less than a
year. It's an important piece of legislation, but it needs to be thought
through."




For further information:

For further information: Cec Makowski, (905) 371-6297

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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