Look who is taking note of the assaults on Ontario's environmental protection mechanisms!
Please visit lsarc (where I picked up the link) for some background
JOINT NEWS RELEASE: ONTARIO NATURE, GREENPEACE CANADA
Enviro groups speak out against Ontario budget bill:
Continue reading the news releaseOver 50 organizations speak out against the gutting of environmental laws in Ontario's budget billEndangered species, provincial parks, and cottage country lakes all put at riskTORONTO - As debate over the Liberal budget bill (Bill 55, Strong Action for Ontario Act) continues at Queen's Park, more than 50 Ontario-based environmental and other non-profit organizations have submitted an open letter to Premier McGuinty, calling on the Province to withdraw all amendments in the bill that impact Ontario's environmental legislation.Signatories to the letter say amendments to existing environmental protection laws must be debated separately.
"Burying changes that weaken protection for our wildlife and ecosystems in a budget bill is unacceptable," says Anne Bell, director of conservation and education for Ontario Nature, one of the groups spearheading the drive to remove the amendments. "This way, the public has no chance of exercising their democratic right to participate in far reaching changes that will impact us and future generations."
Normally, proposed amendments to environmental legislation must follow a statutory process and be posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights registry so that members of the public may comment on them.
The provincial government has bypassed this legislative requirement by inserting its amendments in an omnibus bill that is hundreds of pages in length and is not subject to the same degree of public scrutiny.
Says Catharine Grant, boreal campaigner with Greenpeace Canada: "This government should be defending its environmental legislation, not undermining it by sneaking in changes through a budget bill. Adding multiple loopholes and exceptions to the rule, means our environment will be protected in name only."