And the bad news just keeps coming.
First came the outright attacks on environmental groups, trying to marginalize their efforts to give voice to citizens’ concerns over oil and gas development projects
Then came the omnibus budget, which is pushing through massive de-regulations of environmental protection laws, without proper consultation or discussion, or using sound scientific reasoning for proposing the changes. That budget also included money specifically targeting environmental charities and their ability to engage in advocacy.
Then the announcements: closure of the federal oil response centre in Vancouver, closure of the Coast Guards Station in Kitsilano, and closure of the marine pollution research unit at the Institute of Ocean Sciences, including letting go the government’s leading killer whale toxicologist.
If there was any doubt that the federal government was abandoning its role as steward of the environment, those doubts are gone. What is clear now is that to this government, our rivers, oceans, lands and the wildlife that call them home are simply impediments to resource development, and they must be removed.
The government uses words like ‘modernization’ and ‘efficiency’, however, the truth is each of these actions is making it easier for oil, gas and mining development to happen quickly, leaving decisions in the hands of politicians, not the scientists and experts who really have the knowledge to make reasoned decisions. And some of the impacts of these rushed and reckless decisions will be left to future generations to clean up.
In recent memory, there has never been such an open attack by our federal government on our environment and the civil society that is its voice. And that is why there has never been a more important time for us to speak up. So on June 4th Georgia Strait Alliance is joining organizations, businesses, unions, bloggers and individuals from across the country to “Black Out, Speak Out”.
On that day, when you visit our website, you won’t have access to the hundreds of pages of information to help you understand the threats to the Strait, and the solutions we are working on to protect our waters. On that day, our online voice will be silenced, but your voice will not.
Our land, water and air are all threatened by the latest federal budget.
All our voices are at risk.
Silence is not an option.
For more information on how you can take part and take action, please visit www.blackoutspeakout.ca