Let’s pave Canada


The oldest and strongest piece of environmental legislation we Canadians have is about to be gutted by Stephen Harper. Buried within yesterday’s budget are changes to the Fisheries Act that will remove protection to fish habitat, unless the fish happen to be of "economic, cultural, or ecological value"—an inserted ambiguity that pretty much means that burden of proof for conservation will lie with the fish themselves.

Coded as ‘streamlining the review process for economic projects,’ the legislation will certainly pave the way to plough through the Northern Gateway pipeline, and in the process, fillet 35 years of slow, but nevertheless, steady environmental protection progress.


The addition of coal and diamond mines to the Metal Mining Effluent Regulation will only serve to grant them access the MMER’s Schedule 2 loophole, which enables mining companies to apply for exemptions from the Act in order to dump toxic waste into lakes.

A good time to contact your MP? Will it help?


  1. That’s the question: will it help? Probably not, at least not immediately. But I do, when I have the energy, write those letters. Partly because, as Chris Hedges says, it’s important for the survival of our own souls, for our integrity, for our own health… but also because ultimately I still am a bit of an optimist, and can’t help but hope that speaking out builds momentum, and sometimes, with time, things actually do change for the better.

  2. All in the name of “progress” I suppose (cough). When will we realize that such actions come at our own eventual demise?

  3. The challenge might be in the shifting of Canadian politics to a more Americanized style where omnibus legislation i.e. the crime legislation and additional items get hidden after tit-for-tat settling. Politicians can pretend they did not know what was changing and make specious arguments at a later date.

    Canadians have to remain vigilant to these subtle shifts and ask questions of those who purportedly represent us. Blogs of this nature help with that process.

  4. Let me diffidently point out a subtle hypocrisy here. It’s fun to blame the conservatives or Stephen Harper or…. But big business and big unions are in favour, along with a few million little people who need the work. Let’s just make sure the fish have a voice too.

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