Bill C-38: Why people are concerned
It’s difficult to read a newspaper these days without hearing about Bill C-38, the 420-page omnibus Budget Implementation Act. People are understandably concerned about this Bill for many reasons. Over half of the Bill is given over to re-writing important environmental legislation like the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Species At Risk Act, and the Fisheries Act. It includes a significant shift from protecting “fish habitat” to protecting “fisheries”; many industrial projects may no longer be subject to environmental assessments; and because these important changes are part of a budget bill, government MPs will not be allowed to vote against them.
For an overview of the proposed changes and what they mean for fish and the habitat they rely on, see the legal backgrounders prepared by Ecojustice on changes to the Fisheries Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
The media has also been covering the issue extensively and the Vancouver Sun has dedicated a four-part series to Fisheries Act changes:
- Part 1: How the Conservatives’ brief love affair with environmentalism came to an ugly end
- Part 2: Conservationists, scientists fear Fisheries Act changes
- Part 3: Fisheries Act changes – Seeking the right mix between protection and development
- Part 4: Groups fight back after Conservatives try to dilute environmental laws
Also see our earlier update on this issue for related media stories.