Protecting the environment not radical idea
Editor, The News:
Re: Penny dumped in ’12 budget (The News, March 30).
The constant erosion of our environmental protection, the vilification of environmental groups and portraying environmentalists as ‘radicals’ and enemies of the people, the black-lisiting of groups opposing projects such as the Enbridge Pipeline, stopping funding for essential climate research, the systematic campaign to eliminate any restrictions for business to exploit our environment and to eliminate research that is ideologically opposed to the government’s denial of climate change is a serious threat to our right to clean air, clean water and clean food.
Those are not radical ideas and demands.
If the government cannot get its way with the Enbridge Pipeline through the democratic process of the hearings, it will go through the back door to change Canada’s environmental laws to speed up the process of approval for questionable and hazardous industrial projects.
It is using the budget and Revenue Canada to try and revoke the charitable status of the environmental organizations to silence their fierce opposition.
The government goes through the back door by eviscerating the environmental assessment process in its proposed Section 35 of the Fisheries Act and strips streamed fish habitat protection.
It tries to close down the world renowned Pearl Institute for Arctic Research on Ellesmere Island by starving it of funding.
The government privileging one sector – the oil sector – over all other development in renewable energy, puts us in jeopardy in the future when oil runs out.
The explosive expansion of the tar sands is bad economic, bad environmental and bad energy policy. It is also bad national security policy.
Thomas Friedman, a ‘green growth’ advocate, tells us that “the process of developing new green technologies and installing green infrastructure can provide a huge economic boost and generating wealth, needed to make a country healthier and richer, more innovative, more productive and more secure.”
Why are we putting all our eggs in one basket?
How effective is the federal government in safeguarding human health and the environment?
Compare these figures: “It took 20 years for Environment Canada to collect $2.4 million in fines from polluters poisoning our country with toxic substances.”
By comparison the, Toronto Public Library collected $2.6 million in overdue book fines in 2009 alone.