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The environment should be a non-partisan issue. I’m no political expert, not even close. I read lots and follow the news from Parliament Hill; basically I try to stay on top of things and stay informed, but have never been very politically active. I certainly wasn’t planning on ever blogging about politics. But here I am. What the Conservative Government is trying to implement with Bill C-38 has me all riled up, and seriously worried. And as a concerned citizen, I want to share this info with you!
On Wednesday I went to the BlackOutSpeakOut Teach In, which was a non-partisan information session about the devastating impact that this budget bill will have on environmental laws and regulations in Canada. The speakers included John Bennett, who is the Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada; the New Democrat critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food Malcolm Allen; Senator Grant Mitchell; environmental lawyer and professor Stephan Hazell, and leader of the Green Party of Canada, Elizabeth May.
What I took away from the evening (and if you’re interested, you can actually watch each of the speakers here) is that we seriously need to ban together NOW if we want to preserve our Canadian environment. Without turning this into a diatribe against Stephen Harper, it seems that he is woefully uninformed about pretty much any kind of science and is bent on destroying on our country one piece at a time. He doesn’t believe in climate change, which is why it doesn’t seem to concern him at all. He doesn’t appreciate that you can’t separate the environment from the rest of our lives; culture, economy, health, safety — these are all intrinsically linked to the health of our surroundings and our planet. To him, the environment is simply in the way of big oil, and “productivity”. Every other political party has spoken out against this draconian bill. Even one of his own MPs tried (the key word is “tried”) to speak out against the 425 page bill.
I could go on about Harper’s assault on the environment, but there are people out there who have already done so (and who are much better equipped to do so then I!). I just felt like I needed to get that of my chest — hope my first foray into a little political post went OK. If there are any of you who are reading this and have no idea what I’m rambling about I really, really highly recommend that you check out this info:
- Clarifying the Deliberately Confusing Bill C-38
- Killing Environmental Science — Elizabeth May
- Bill C-38 Fact Sheet and Resources from the NDP
- Budget Bill Top Ten Environmental Concerns
As I mentioned, the event I went to was non-partisan (there were representatives from all the major Canadian political parties except for the Conservatives, but that’s not really surprising…), and it was very encouraging to see people from different political backgrounds come together to fight for our environment. I honestly believe that even Conservative supporters can’t be huge fans of this bill — we all share this planet and its future will affect all of us. Regardless of party values, we need to work together for the environment; an environmental coalition. So please, if you want to get involved, write letters to your MP, to newspapers, to the prime minister’s office, call talk shows, make your voice heard!
BlackOutSpeakOut can get you started, so head on over now and speak out! Silence is not an option.