Canada as Environmental Criminal

The Tragedy of the Global Commons:

In the past few months, Canada has completely lost any credibility it had as a leader in pursuing environmental literacy in its policies and practices. 

First we had Canada’s betrayal of the Kyoto Protocol, as Peter Kent cleverly left Durban leading the world on in thinking that we would still be at the table, and then quietly announcing on his return home that Canada was pulling out for “economic” reasons.  “It’s our legal right.” Sadly Kent is not a real Minister, as is the case with most of our Conservative Reform Alliance Party government.  Even as a broadcaster, he was an actor, reading the script that others wrote for him with great sincerity.  

As a newscaster, his broadcasts on the first signing of Kyoto and the catastrophic impact of climate change on the planet really looked as if he understood the significance of what was happening.  But for Peter, it was all entertainment.  As an “Environment Minister”, he reads what the PMO edits for him, and still looks as if he believes it.

Stephen Harper has never believed in the science of climate change, the subject of its own upcoming article on this website, preferring instead to consult with economists on the impact of this “socialist plot.”

Then, after Kyoto, and after President Obama put the brakes on the Keystone Pipeline, came the relentless attacks from our Prime Minister on prime time television, warning Canadians about the dangers to the country’s economic security from the heavily funded “foreign environmental lobby” that was set to derail The Northern Gateway Pipeline. The Prime Minister as the TV spokesperson for the oil industry – that was a first.  Takes him back to his early days with Imperial Oil. Now, no one in the government mentioned the billions of dollars that had come from major corporate investors around the world, particularly China, to get that extremely expensive oil flowing to refineries in the Far East.

Call them the “tar sands”, call them the “oil sands”, call it bitumen – it makes no difference. Under no circumstances is it “ethical oil” as the deluded Ezra Levant maintains.  The Sun Media will be the subject of another future post. No, there is nothing ethical about Ezra’s lobbying for Alberta bitumen, one of the most expensive and energy intensive sources of oil on the planet.

Let it simply be said, that the Prime Minister will do anything to ensure that Alberta’s oil gets to China.  He could have considered a pipeline to refineries in Montreal and sales to an “ethical” European market, but that would have created an economic boom in Eastern Canada – not part of his plan of regional fiefdoms (Alberta at the pinnacle) with no federal oversight.

Then came the quiet alterations to the Fisheries Act.  Almost everyone missed it – just some fish.But this very clever government realized that the old Act would slow down the Northern Gateway Pipeline, and so they changed the Act to speed things up. Enter Jeffrey Hutchings, Professor of Biology at Dalhousie University: from Margaret Munro, Post Media News, March 19, 2012: Weakening the Fisheries Act will make a bad situation even worse.The proposed changes will be considered "an abrogation of Canada's global ocean and freshwater stewardship responsibilities," Hutchings wrote to the minister: The proposed changes will "severely impair" Canada's ability to protect species and their habitat and "further reduce the likelihood that Canada will fulfill its national and international biodiversity commitments," he said.

Otto Langer, the former head of habitat protection for DFO on the West Coast who retired several years ago, was leaked documents detailing the proposed changes to the Fisheries Act, which he released last week. The proposed changes, outlined in the documents, strip the reference to "habitat" from the act, and introduce vague wording that Langer said would be hard to enforce. The act, as it now reads, makes it illegal to damage fish habitat. The new version leaked to Langer would prohibit activities that would cause an "adverse effect" on "fish of economic, cultural or ecological value."

So with one stroke of the pen, any adverse effects that the Northern Gateway Pipeline might have had on fish habitat were cleverly bypassed. Finally under intense pressure from Canada’s scientists, who defied the government’s gag order and spoke out publicly, Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield finally openly admitted, as reported in the Vancouver Sun on April 25th, that the overhaul of the Fisheries Act would reduce the regulatory burden oil companies face in getting approval for major projects.

Ashfield even applauded conservation groups as supporters of the overhaul.  This is like Ashfield and Oliver and Harper telling Canadians that the CRAP policies are consistent with Canadian values. NOT. They are consistent with the ideologies of unethical business and industry CEO’s who want to deregulate and full speed ahead on sucking out our resources and habitats for big bucks. They didn’t take David Suzuki on their trip to the U.S. a few years ago when they sat down with big business leaders to hammer out Canada’s joke of an Economic Action Plan. I digress. Turned out Ashfield’s “conservation” groups were the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (we kill animals), and Ducks Unlimited (primarily funded by duck hunters). El toro pooh-pooh, to be politically correct. Ducks Unlimited will get its own special posting shortly. 

Finally came the cruelest cut of all.  Not satisfied with the open door the Fisheries Act Changes had given him, Stephen Harper, in the recent federal budget, quietly gave himself (no need to consult parliament) the power to approve major energy projects even if regulatory bodies turn them down on environmental grounds. An environmental veto. Retroactively. A full, unfettered and unapologetic dictatorship where all is subjugated to the “economic security” of the country.

The man who once said that we wouldn’t recognize Canada when he was through with it is well on his way.  No one believed Adolph Hitler when he laid it all out in Mein Kampf. Wake up Canada. It’s time for the Turn of the Tide.  It’s time to take back our country.

Skid Crease, Caledon


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