The federal government is reducing the number of departments and agencies that can do environmental reviews from 40 to just three to speed up approvals for projects that will bolster Canada's economy, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said today.
Expanding on plans announced in the March 29 budget, Oliver on Tuesday laid out the specifics of the Conservative government's major overhaul of environmental assessments, aimed at speeding up what the minister labelled a "duplicative, cumbersome and uncertain" process.
The moves are sure to please companies that have long complained of a lengthy, costly review process, citing previous major projects that have taken almost a decade to gain approval.
But the measures were immediately condemned by opposition MPs and environmental groups, which said the Harper government's push for "streamlining" was merely code for gutting Canada's environmental assessment process.... Read more »
Thank you to all who dropped by our booth at the Green Living Show and signed our Asian Carp petition!Submitted by Shaima Al-Khalili on Mon, 2012-04-16 12:13
Thank you to everyone who came by the Sierra Club Ontario booth at The Green Living Show this weekend to sign our petition to the Provincial and Federal governments to take action in preventing the Asian Carp from invading our Great Lakes! Also, thank you to TVO’s Water Brothers who sent so many people over to sign our petition and then came over to sign it themselves (see photo)!
We really appreciate your efforts and we hope we can all move towards effective change. This is a threat that will impact us all. We have already gathered over 900 signatures and we hope to reach 2000 and have them mailed out to us by May 1st when we present it to our political leaders ... Read more »
OTTAWA- Canadians are less able to protect our water, air and land because of changes to environmental law outlined in today’s federal budget.
The key change, essentially speeding up environmental reviews of mega-projects, will greatly hurt the public's ability to participate in future processes.
“Environmental assessments need to be thorough, consultative and science-based.” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada. “Creating hard-time limits and rushing the process compromises all these things.”
The changes will result in weaker environmental assessments and projects being approved without a full understanding of the social, economic and environmental impacts they will have.
... Read more »
The Conservative government has quietly begun looking into the charitable status of environmental groups in the Senate.
Senator Nicole Eaton is sponsoring an inquiry into what she calls "funding by foreign foundations." Eaton began her debate Tuesday by laying out what she considers to be a threat to the Canadian economy.
"This inquiry is about master manipulators who are operating under the guise of charitable organizations in an effort to manipulate our policies for their own gain," she said in the Upper Chamber.
Environmental groups don't see it that way.
"My fear is that they will just try to smear us and then walk away," said John Bennett, executive director of Sierra Club Canada. "And that they're hoping to frighten off U.S. foundations from supporting us... And they're going to try to turn off the public from supporting us."... Read more »
MEDIA RELEASE, Feb. 29, 2012
VANCOUVER, BC and OTTAWA, ON (February 29, 2012) – Today over 40 groups, from internationally-known organizations like Council of Canadians and Greenpeace, to local citizens’ groups like Grand Riverkeeper Labrador, have endorsed a statement confirming their support for strong federal environmental laws that protect our national values.
The groups warn that they will not stand by if the federal government moves to short-circuit environmental reviews for projects like the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil tankers and pipeline project, and they have rallied behind a statement of 10 principles they say form the basis of environmental assessment for a healthy, secure and sustainable Canada.... Read more »