Dear Prime Minister Harper:
As privy councillors from British Columbia who have served as ministers of Fisheries and Oceans in past federal governments, we wish to inform you of our serious concern regarding the content of Bill C-38 and the process being used to bring it into force.
We have had lengthy and varied political experience and collectively have served in cabinet in Progressive Conservative and Liberal governments alike. We believe we have a fair understanding of the views of Canadians. Moreover, we believe there is genuine public concern over the perceived threat this legislation poses to the health of Canada’s environment and in particular to the well-being of its fisheries resources. We are especially alarmed about any possible diminution of the statutory protection of fish habitat, which we feel could result if the provisions of Bill C-38 are brought into force. Migratory salmon and steelhead are icons of our home province. Our experience convinces us that their continued survival would be endangered without adequate federal regulation and enforcement, particularly in the area of habitat protection.
Canada is formally withdrawing from the Kyoto accord, Environment Minister Peter Kent said Monday.
The decision to do so will save the government an estimated $14 billion in penalties, Kent said. The Conservative government says it has no choice given the economic situation.
Blaming an “incompetent Liberal government” who signed the accord and then took little action to make the necessary greenhouse gas emission cuts, Kent said he was formalizing what the Conservative government has been saying for weeks.
“Kyoto for Canada is in the past. As such, we are invoking our legal right to formally withdraw,” Kent said.
The Kyoto Protocol, which expires next year, committed major industrial economies to reducing their annual CO2 emissions to below 1990 levels, while providing financial supports to developing nations to encourage them to follow suit eventually. Canada ratified the accord in 1997 but was not on track to meet its legally binding targets.
The Conservatives have committed to 17 per cent cuts from 2005 levels by 2020, a much lower threshold to meet than cutting below 1990 emissions levels.
Canada ‘abdicating’ responsibilities…
NDP Environment critic Megan Leslie says Kent is fear-mongering about the consequences of staying in the Kyoto pact.
“What this is really about is the fact that our government is abdicating its international obligations. It’s like we’re the kid who’s failing the class so we have to drop it before that happens,” Leslie said…
“Stephen Harper’s administration is cutting budgets for climate, conservation and ozone monitoring projects.
Canada’s Stephen Harper government is spending more than 60 billion dollars on new military jets and warships while slashing more than 200 million dollars in funding for research and monitoring of the environment…