OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada condemns the new public debate suppression requirements put in place by the National Energy Board (NEB) at the request of Harper’s Conservatives.
“10,000 barrels of dilbit, a mixture of bitumen and toxic diluent, were spilled in Arkansas last week. Citizens in Toronto and everywhere along Enbridge’s Line 9 have legitimate concerns and tough questions to ask the NEB. Muzzling their opposition is against basic principles of natural justice. These new barriers to free speech would not stand up to judicial review,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
In their fight against Omnibus Bill C-38, the Greens tried to prevent the destruction of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). Green Leader Elizabeth May put forward amendments –rejected by the Conservatives– to protect rights for public participation, which were once fundamental to the CEAA. The terms used in C-38 restrict public participation to those “directly affected”. “It is that terminology that has led to the abuse we witness today, but even with that restrictive language, the NEB has made it even more restrictive by adding its own two-week timeline,” said May.
“Enbridge plans to pump dilbit, with added benzene, a notorious carcinogen, through our neighbourhoods using an aging pipe system originally built for natural gas. What would a spill near Lake Ontario mean for the water supply of millions of people?” asked May.
“After muzzling scientists, Stephen Harper muzzles citizens. Add his obsession for the oil business and his disregard for Parliament in the mix, and you’ve got a great example of Harperland in action,” said May.
Communications Coordinator, Green Party of Canada