Ecojustice Blog – Climate change Posted on October 5, 2010 (updated: February 17, 2015)

Feds Spell “Exempt” for Canada’s Environment

Albert KoehlLawyer

People were rightly outraged earlier this year when the Federal government announced that 2,000 projects – including major works like bridges, highways and sewer systems – would be made exempt from environmental assessment. That number has now ballooned to 14,000, as the feds continue to be blind to the idea that the long-term health of our economy is linked to the health of our environment.

Ecojustice Lawyer Justin Duncan summarized it best:

“We think that the recession shouldn’t be used as an excuse to create a massive environmental debt. We might be able to get out of a fiscal debt fairly quickly, but there’s a big question as to whether we can get out of the environmental one.”


Experts and thinkers from the cutting edge of society have repeatedly said that one reason for the current economic downturn is that the old systems that we have been relying on are no longer working. Top down news is giving way to the interactive conversations of the web, and economies based on environmental exploitation are proving risky in a world already feeling the impacts of climate change. By allowing thousands of projects to move forward without assessment, the federal government is wedding Canadians to an old way of business that is already failing.

We launched a lawsuit back in April that challenged the government over their actions, and we’ve now amended the case to include all of the potential 14,000 projects what will evade environmental accountability.

The court date should occur later this year. We’ll keep you posted.

By Kori Brus

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