Gutting environmental protection will have serious consequences: Leslie

HALIFAX – Today, New Democrats blasted the Conservatives’ plan to gut environmental protection. This plan jeopardizes not only the environment, but also the health and prosperity of Canadians.

“These new measures will severely gut the environmental protection process in Canada,” said NDP Environment critic Megan Leslie. “After slashing funding to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, they’re now saddling it with the obligation to do more complex reviews, faster, with fewer resources..”

“On the one hand, businesses that had measured the social acceptability of their project through an extensive environmental assessment process would know where they stand before investing large sums of money,” added NDP Deputy Environment Critic, Laurin Liu. “On the other hand, quality environmental protection allows Canada to improve trade relations, as we are currently seen as an environmental offender.”

In addition to imposing strict timelines on environmental reviews, the Harper government announced that it will cut the more than 40 agencies that currently conduct environmental assessments to a mere three, further dismantling the checks and balances that protect Canada’s environment.