Is this the legacy we want to leave?
2014 was a busy year for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, who were quietly dismantling Canada’s environmental protections to serve international oil, gas, mining and aquaculture interests.
Weakened laws (through an omnibus bill) include granting broad power to the Ministers of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment to authorize what I believe to be the destruction of Canada’s native fish in favour of foreign industrial development, along with lifting restrictions on large scale dumping of aquatic drugs, pesticides and farm-fish waste into the ocean.
At the end of the year, the Harper Conservatives handed federal ports the license to operate without environmental reviews and the power to destroy terrestrial species at risk of extinction.
And if you want to peacefully protest the projects these actions will allow, they have just proposed new provisions to the criminal code that would result in 10 years in jail and big fines for some offenses.
Once its gone, it’s gone. Instead of Canada’s iconic natural areas, we will have poor air quality and industrial landscapes with coal, oil barges and pipelines replacing our fisheries, tourism and hospitality jobs.
In 2015 do we want to continue this authorized, corporate control to destroy Canada’s natural areas, climate and democracy?
Let’s leave a different legacy, and choose to conserve habitat, stop the fossil fuel expansion, and further the solar, wind and water energy businesses with viable, clean jobs.
Sheila HarringtonLasqueti Island