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Conservatives Abdicating Responsibility for Environmental Protection

Posted on April 25, 2012

For Immediate Release

OTTAWA — With the changes to the Fisheries Act announced yesterday, the Harper Conservatives have taken another step down a dangerous path to eliminating the government’s role in protecting the environment, said Liberal Members of Parliament today.

“The government’s decision to gut regulations and abdicate the federal government’s responsibilities for the environmental assessments of natural resource projects highlights the fact that the Conservative government has not only declared war on evidence and information, but also war on the environment,” said Joyce Murray, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra and Liberal Critic for Small Business and Tourism.

Earlier today, Liberal Environment critic Kirsty Duncan noted that these proposed changes to the Fisheries Act would grant the government the ability to unilaterally decide which projects will get a review, thereby eliminating the federal responsibility to provide oversight. According to Dr. Duncan, this move is an attempt by the government to legitimise its ideological antipathy towards science, evidence, and environmental concerns.

Liberal Fisheries and Oceans critic Lawrence MacAulay asserts that these changes will have a devastating effect on Canada’s environment and fisheries. MacAulay also noted that the biggest threat to our fisheries is the destruction of their habitats.

“One of my biggest fears about these changes is the collective impact that many small actions will have on our environment and fish habitat,” said Murray. “Destruction of habitat has been identified as one of the key factors in the decline of salmon stock. Giving an individual minister the power to decide which waterways are ‘vital’ is bad for our fisheries, bad for the environment, and compromises our ability to make objective and evidence-based decisions about our natural resources.”
 

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Office of Joyce Murray
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604-664-9220

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