September 26th, 2012

NDP highlights environmental concerns with proposed Oshawa ethanol plant

Letter from Leslie outlines dangerous environmental precedent set by C-38

The gutting of Canadian Environmental Assessment Act through the Conservative budget bill, Bill C-38, has already had tangible negative consequences on sensitive ecological areas.

“FarmTech Energy Corporation has proposed the construction of an ethanol plant along the Oshawa waterfront, alongside the protected Second Marsh wildlife wetlands,” wrote NDP Environment Critic Megan Leslie (Halifax) in a letter to Minister Peter Kent. “We are concerned that the federal government has abandoned its responsibility to protect the environment and the best interests of the people of Oshawa in the middle of the process.”

C-38 made a number of changes, including repealing and replacing the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act with new legislation that exempts all but roughly one percent of the biggest and most controversial megaprojects. As a result, most projects now fall through the cracks.

Leslie’s letter calls for a reversal of changes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and a thorough proposal review.

“The Conservatives are showing yet again that, to them, the environment as well as the needs and concerns of communities are less important than taking care of their insider friends,” said Olivia Chow, NDP MP for Trinity—Spadina.