(OTTAWA) – Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) today condemned the Liberals’ plan to shove through their weak Environmental Impact Assessment Bill - C69 - with little debate, and a rushed committee process. The bill ignores many of the recommendations from the government’s expert panels, and breaks important election promises that helped bring the Liberals to power.
“The Liberals promised to reverse the devastating changes made by the Harper Conservatives to Environmental Assessment legislation, and in the process broke yet another election promise,” said Elizabeth May. “They imposed time allocation on debate in the House, restricted the number of witnesses at Environment Committee, and cut off time for the clause by clause process, which means very few of the 478 amendments proposed will be considered.”
The Greens introduced over 150 amendments, more than any other party. They would improve the bill but most will likely never be considered at Committee.
“I am proposing amendments to lessen Ministerial discretion (which runs rampant in Bill C-69), to respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), to reinstate triggers for assessments and to set appropriate timelines for assessments. This to ensure intervenors, indigenous peoples, and the public are able to participate meaningfully in the process,” said Ms. May. "Without major amendments, this bill will represent Harper's triumph in destroying Canadian environmental assessment. Before Harper, typically 4000 projects under federal jurisdiction were reviewed every year. Keeping Harper's approach, the new bill will keep reviews to 'major projects' only."
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