OTTAWA – There will be a crucial vote on whether to extend the debate of the Environmental Bill of Rights Act at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 3rd.
The bill is currently before the Standing Committee on Environment and sustainable Development undergoing a clause-by-clause examination. During this process, a number of improvements have been identified, but unless Parliament extends the debate deadline tomorrow, it will be voted on in its original form.
“We need every Member of Parliament who believes in protecting the environment to turn out and vote tomorrow night,” said John Bennett, executive director of Sierra Club Canada.The Environmental Bill of Rights has been working its way through Parliament for a number of years now, and is a only few amendments away from completion and a third reading vote.
“Parliament is working for Canadians when its elected members debate amendments to Bill C-469 in the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. If they need more time to get the job done, so that an amended bill might express the will of Parliament, then MPs from all parties should support extending the debate,” said William Amos, director of the uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic.
The Conservative members of the Committee have been employing delaying tactics to drag out the debate and prevent an amended bill going to a vote with the support of all the opposition parties.
“It would be a shame for this Parliament to lose the opportunity to advance transparency and accountability for environmental governance,” said MiningWatch Canada’s Jamie Kneen.