Canada: Rapid elimination of what few environmental protections remain

Groups like Forest Ethics, Sierra Club and other mainstream groups are
pleased to tell you that they have overseen great and sweeping new
protections for forests in Canada. In truth they have overseen eight
years of the most dramatic dismantling of environmental protections a
first world nation has ever seen. The industry has run rough-shod over
these enviros who act as though they aren’t even aware that they are
losing, act as though they aren’t even aware that their suppose to
sound the alarm and rally public support to put a stop to the
dismantling of what little eco-protections the country still has! So
perhaps the recent news below… perhaps it will inspire mainstream
enviros to speak out and object someway sometime soon? Right?
–Editor, Forest Policy Research

OTTAWA — The NDP says it has obtained a copy of a government memo that
suggests the Conservatives want to gut the federal role in
environmental-impact assessments. The leaked e-mail from a federal
bureaucrat suggests the Tories could kill the assessment process for
any project worth less than $10-million, or for any project where a
provincial government is already performing that role. “The important
message here is clear,” said NDP environment critic Linda Duncan. “The
Harper government is trying to say you can’t have economic development
and environmental protection. That’s what the message is. And it just
isn’t true.” The e-mail, distributed to the media with the sender’s
name blacked out, says the measures would help speed up the pace of
construction projects at a time of global economic standstill. Ottawa
has already committed $33-billion for infrastructure spending over
seven years, with the possibility of more in a stimulus package to be
released in next week’s federal budget. But a key concern remains: how
much of that spending will go to projects that are ready to begin, and
which would immediately help dampen the impact of the economic
slowdown? New Democrats say the government is using the economic
crisis — and the need to speed up construction projects — as a pretext
for weakening environmental oversight. The NDP and environmental
groups say the changes would undo major parts of the Environmental
Assessment Act, enacted by the Conservative government of Brian
Mulroney in 1992. New Democrats say that instead of diluting
assessment rules, the government should be using its infrastructure
money on green-technology
projects.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090122.wPOLenvi0122/BNStory/politics/home

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