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March 27th, 2018

Environmental assessments: the NDP raises concerns about the review process of the bill

The Liberal government is refusing to deliver a comprehensive study of the new environmental assessment bill, C-69, which they claim strengthens rights gutted by the Conservative government of Stephen Harper. By cutting off debate in the House of Commons, combined with the committee limiting time for review of C-69, Canadians and Parliamentarians are being denied the opportunity to voice their views on this vital piece of legislation.

“We hoped we would be dealing with a reasonable government, however, the Liberals have adopted the wrong approach to governing,” said NDP Environment Critic, Alexandre Boulerice. “By cutting short debate and rolling different legislation into one massive bill, they are limiting improvements that could be made, avoiding public participation and scrutiny, and ignoring pressing environmental issues. They are doing the opposite of what they said they would do.”

Last Thursday, Linda Duncan gave notice of a motion to divide the bill and send those parts of the bill to the relevant committees. This would result in parts of C-69 dealing with the new energy regulator to the Natural Resources Committee, and the Navigation Protection Act to the Transport Committee.

“I tabled a proposal to divide it among the three committees because this process must not be a rushed exercise,” said the NDP Deputy Environment Critic, Linda Duncan. “This process requires considerable time and careful thought. Making the Environment Committee alone hear witnesses on three separate laws and consider amendments on over 800 clauses would be counterproductive and would make it impossible to carefully study the bill.”