This post might annoy a few people I know at Queen’s Park, but I’m a tad annoyed with the Mcguinty government, so it will even out.
Mcguinty’s Liberals are pulling the same Omnibus stunt (Bill C-55 I believe it’s called) that Stephen Harper’s Conservatives were getting roundly criticized for over Bill C-38. Specifically, what I am extremely disappointed in the provincial Liberals over is them doing the same weakening of environmental laws that the Harper government is doing:
Ontario’s budget bill aims to weaken environmental regulations that might interfere with resource activities such as mining and forestry.It would amend the Crown Forest Sustainability Act to let cabinet exempt timber companies from their current obligation to prepare management plans every five years. And it would give the cabinet broad authority let such companies ignore cutting limits.
In a bow to mining firms, the bill would weaken the Endangered Species Act by allowing those engaged in “infrastructure maintenance, repair or replacement” to kill animals at risk or destroy their habitat.Another section of the bill would give cabinet the right to override certain requirements of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.
In essence, where Stephen Harper aims to allow tarsand development without having to put up with environmental regulations, Ontario has gone ahead under the same pretense of development and gutted key environmental laws under the same foolish notion that somehow those will hurt economic development (ie. timber and mining companies, who have no qualms of what they do to make money, or save money) if allowed to stay in place.
It’s very disappointing to me to see this – particularly in a Liberal minority government that could and should be acting a lot more progressive then this. I’ll go along with others who’ve criticized the provincial NDP for bringing all these up now rather then earlier in initial Budget negotiations, but that doesn’t excuse Mcguinty’s government from putting these into this Bill in the first place.
I had let my provincial Ontario Liberal membership lapse earlier this year – I have now no intention of renewing it. A symbolic protest, I know.. but I won’t be actively supporting a government that has shown the same environmental short-sightedness as Harper’s CPC has.