The Wilderness Committee, a Vancouver-based wilderness protection group, says environmental assessment will
be weakened by the 2012 federal Budget and its follow-up legislation. In its March 29, 2012 Media Release, their
concern has been expressed about major cuts to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and elimination of the National Round
Table on the Environment and the Economy.
“We’re incredibly concerned that the federal government is gutting environmental protection for the wilderness and
wildlife that Canadians cherish,” said Gwen Barlee, Policy Director for the Wilderness Committee, responding to
the Budget presented March 29 by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.“Private power projects, which do great damage
to BC’s wild rivers and fish, could also exploit these changes, as could the proposed New Prosperity Mine project
near Fish Lake,” said Barlee. “British Columbians value and will stand up for wild salmon, old-growth forests
and clean air and fresh water and it is obvious Ottawa doesn’t understand that.”
Community groups such as the Council of Canadians have similarly expressed the need to save Canada’s
environmental laws. Groups speaking out to support effective federal environmental laws include the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Climate Action Network (representing 74 faith, First Nations, labour, civic and environmental groups), Nature Canada, WWF – Canada, Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists and the Council of Canadians.
“The gutting of Canada’s federal environmental laws would turn the regulatory clock back several decades and allow the immediate interests of big industries to trump those of communities, who want to see their air, water, land and species safeguarded,” said Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians. “These changes are further proof that our country is moving recklessly in the wrong direction at the cost of public health and safety.”
- Wilderness Committee
The Wilderness Committee, founded in 1980, has over 60,000 members, donors and volunteers, and is
Canada’s largest membership-based, citizen-funded wilderness protection group.
- Council of Canadians