Federal budget puts environment at risk

What I value most about the Kootenays it is that we have built a community able to sustain a community

What I value most about the Kootenays it is that we have built a community able to sustain a community and an economy while protecting and being proud of the nature around us.

The federal government has just proposed the 2012 budget bill. But it’s more than that. It’s a 431 page all-encompassing bill with over 100 pages of change to environmental legislation, including a completely rewritten Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. It shortens the list of protected species. It weakens fish habitat protection. It gives cabinet greater power to override decisions of the National Energy Board on projects such as oil pipelines.

And because it is “in the budget,” these changes do not need to be subject to any committee review. This is unacceptable and we must all be asking, loudly, for parliament to separate out the environmental legislative changes from the budget bill so that they can be debated with due diligence. Our elected representatives need to hear this loud and clear.

May we all speak up. Because not saying anything is saying it’s okay.

Zoë Caron

Procter