Ecojustice Blog – Healthy communities Posted on November 28, 2012 (updated: February 17, 2015)

On the ground: Black Out Speak Out

Kimberly Shearon headshotKimberly ShearonStaff

On June 4, we stood shoulder to shoulder with thousands of Canadians and more than 500 groups — including small businesses and social justice, First Nations and labour organizations — to tell the federal government that we will not stay silent as our rich natural legacy and free, open society are threatened by the budget
bill, C-38.

We darkened our website on Monday in a symbolic protest of this attack on nature and democracy. But our action doesn’t end there. Together with our allies, we will speak out for as long as it takes, demanding that the laws that protect people and the environment we all count on are made stronger, not weaker.

Why is Bill C-38, which weighs in at 400-plus pages, bad news for Canadians?

Among other things, Bill C-38 replaces theCanadian Environmental Assessment Act, gives the government power to override recommendations from independent experts, weakens the environmental review process to speed up approvals and shuts citizen groups out of reviews for pipelines and other industrial projects. The bill changes or repeals almost every major federal environmental law, amounting to a massive deregulation of environmental protection in Canada. And when the laws that protect our health and our planet are weak, we are all vulnerable.

Simply put, we know that the budget bill spells trouble for Canada. And on Monday, a cross-section of concerned Canadians — including the iconic Dr. David Suzuki — came together in Vancouver to present a united front against the bill.

The Vancouver event was one of many Black Out Speak Out events taking place across the country.

As Dr. Suzuki said on Monday: “Environmentalists are not the enemy of development. We’re simply for a world rich in opportunity.”

But that world will remain out of reach if the federal government allows us to lose the long-standing laws and culture of open debate that protect the clean water, air and land we all depend on.

That’s why silence is NOT an option when it comes to this budget bill. Take action today.

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