MP Randy Kamp is correct, I have not read the entire Bill C-38 [Bill C-38 planned for balance, June 19 Letters, TIMES].
It is not I – nor more than 30 million Canadians – who arrogantly crammed some 70 bills into one piece of legislation, wrapped it up with a phony title, and then whined continually when citizens and opposition politicians challenged one of the worst affronts to democracy in this country’s history.
If he and his colleagues believe in all those changes, they would have had the courage to bring them to the citizens in meaningful packages, and not hide behind some humongous pile of tripe that will take months, if not years for the citizenry to fully realize the consequences.
Who knows how many unintended consequences will occur because the changes could not be properly considered and corrected beforehand.
But what will MP Kamp care? He will be sucking off the Canadian golden teat – his MP’s pension.
It is ironic that he and his colleagues could not ram through changes to their disgusting thievery from taxpayers as they could with changes to old age security, environmental legislation, tax procedures affecting environmental groups, etc.
Or is that more Conservative “balance?”
While I may not have read the entire Bill C-38, I have worked for some 40 years on most sides of the economic/environmental theatre.
I have worked for a provincial environmental ministry, for a major energy company, an industry association, and the citizenry. I have been through environmental reviews, dealt with Fisheries Act issues, etc.
Yes, the legislation and regulations have had their short-comings. More often than not, the real problems came from overzealous people who thought they were doing the right thing. Most times, workable compromises could be reached.
All too often, when things went really off the rails, it was when political interference occurred. For that there was never a solution that well-meaning scientists, conservationists, and citizens could achieve.
More often than not the political interference, was spun with euphemisms and over-worked buzz words like “balance,” “fairness,” “modernizing”… just like those we are hearing from MP Kamp and his colleagues now.
And yes, the continual, dismissive attacks and allegations, like “he hasn’t read it” or “she doesn’t understand it.”
Or the outright falsehoods, like, “We consulted widely.”
MP Kamp continues to insist that the new act will be a blessing for all of us, that environmental agency staff will be able to be deployed more efficiently and effectively.
I find that hard to believe, since his government has gotten rid of most of the few field environmental staff.
Most people forget that it was only as a result of Supreme Court ruling that the federal government was forced to stop illegally delegating responsibility for the Federal Fisheries Act to the provinces. In B.C. that meant all non-salmon-bearing rivers had no DFO involvement.
The short-lived effort to correct that ‘oversight’ has been almost totally reversed. The most telling failure was reported recently when the panel for the Enbridge hearing requested DFO provide its assessments for the myriad rivers and waterways that would be crossed by its proposed pipeline. DFO said it could not, because the assessment was not complete.
This is one of the most important economic projects for the entire country, according to MP Kamp and the Prime Minister, and the government can not even make sure one of its key agencies has completed its assessments.
And MP Kamp has the gall to claim that a watered-down piece of legislation that has yet to have the regulations written is going to provide better environmental protection.
Just one more fallacy of the many that he and his colleagues are unleashing on Canadians.
His simplistic separation of projects into big and small is the kind of simplistic thinking that creates endless problems for the environment and the people who are trying to be stewards. The size of a project can have very little bearing on its potential environmental consequence. The focus has to be on the substance of the project: what is it producing, where is it located, how sensitive the environment is… not just the size.
And another one: MP Kamp’s focus on only the fisheries in re-wording the Fisheries Act. Environmental legislation should always be ecosystem-based. Every fishery can only exist if there is a healthy, functioning ecosystem that results in enough fish to have a fishery. One component of the ecosystem is habitat, which does not have to be “permanently damaged” to have a negative effect on a fishery.
John Kelly, Maple Ridge