Posted by: bluelanternstudio | June 2, 2012

Bill C-38 and the future of Canada

I’m generally a mild-mannered Canadian and, other than voting and sharing my views on Facebook, don’t get particularly involved in politics. Over the past number of weeks, though, I’ve been living a waking nightmare thanks to Stephen Harper’s latest moves on our behalf.

Alarmingly, Stephen Harper and his conservative MPs don’t see the need to discuss, consult, listen or debate. Rather, they prefer to re-write our laws in private to suit their fancy. Unfortunately for Canadians, their fancy is the Alberta oil sands (aka the tar sands), at the cost of everything else.

As the front men for world’s largest oil and gas companies, Stephen Harper and his ultra-conservative pals are in the process of tossing out Canada’s democratic heart in favour of running a Petro State. Their latest initiative, which will pass unless English Canada takes to the streets (following the lead of Montrealers who are already out there), is Bill C-38.

Disguised as a bill to implement the current budget, Bill C-38 is a 450+ page attack on our country’s social safeguards and environmental protections. In one swoop and with very little discussion, it will change more than 70 pieces of legislation covering everything from the age of retirement (now 65, to be raised to 67), employment insurance and benefits, healthcare transfer payments to the provinces, and food safety. It eliminates coast guard stations, reduces border patrols, and removes oversight of CSIS (Canada’s spy agency). On the environmental front, it guts the Fisheries Act, eliminates ocean and freshwater monitoring and research, and weakens environmental assessments for resource development projects.

For those of us living and working on the west coast, beware. This bill, if passed, gives a clear green light for vastly increased oil sands development in Alberta and will make it easy to push the pipeline projects through to the coast. China has invested billions of dollars into these projects and wants the oil. The surpertankers will be navigating our treacherous coast in a matter of a few years and a major oil spill will become inevitable. One of these supertankers will hold more oil than the Exxon Valdez. It doesn’t take much to realize our coast is in danger. A huge portion of British Columbia’s population and economy at risk (think fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, etc).

Thankfully it’s not too late. Bill C-38 has not yet passed and many, many people and organizations are working hard to raise awareness and demand the bill be scrapped. Here’s a list of further reading and ways you can join in and take action. Stand up Canada!

Petitions

Further reading (in no particular order):

– Franke James: ‘What is Harper Afraid of?

– Stephen Leahy: Blame Canada (or how Canada became a Petro State)

– Elizabeth May: Bill C-38 – The Environmental Destruction Bill

– Globe and Mail: Foreign Radicals are after the oil sands

– Canada.com: Federal Government Pollution Monitoring Team

– Tyee.ca: Harper Kills ELA

– Environmental Health News: Mass Firing of Canada’s Ocean Scientists

– CBC: Cutbacks to EI review boards

– CBC: Overview of Bill C-38

– Globe and Mail: Opposition fumes as Tories limit debate on sweeping budget bill

– Seattle Times: Impact of oil spill in Canadian waters on US

– Canada.com: Federal government could be sued over fisheries reform

What have you read that should be added to this list?

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Responses

  1. […] Linda Leon in Whitehorse, Yukon, for compiling this long list of items on the cutting block with Bill C-38.  Please write to your MP to tell them this bill needs to be […]


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