February 9, 2018

Environment minister Catherine McKenna speaking on Bill C-69 yesterday.

During the October 2015 federal election, the Liberal Party pledged, "We will make environmental assessments credible again." Bill C-69, tabled by environment minister Catherine McKenna yesterday, fails to keep that promise. The government's 451-page omnibus bill misses the mark of undoing the damage done by the Harper government's C-38 and C-45 omnibus bills.

February 8, 2018

Environment minister Catherine McKenna speaks to reporters this morning about the provisions in the new Act.

This morning, the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna tabled the much anticipated Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

It's a long title and at 351 pages of text and 26 pages of 'explanatory notes', a lengthy piece of legislation. But it's a straightforward question to ask if the bill would restore lost protections, ensure modern safeguards and protect lakes and rivers from major resource projects such as tar sands pipelines.

In a media conference this morning, McKenna, in response to a question from a reporter, stated that the Act would protect all lakes and rivers.

February 8, 2018

The Saint John chapter is one of many Council of Canadians chapters that collected jars of water from unprotected lakes and rivers to send to their MP over the past two years in an effort to encourage the Liberal government to take immediate action to restore and enhance the protection of waterways.

We are expecting to hear more this morning about how the Liberals will fulfill their long-delayed October 2015 election promise to "restore lost protections" in the Navigable Waters Protection Act and "incorporate more modern safeguards" to protect lakes and rivers across the country.

The Liberals are now set to introduce "An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts”.

February 7, 2018

Council of Canadians Kent County chapter activist Ann Pohl (second from the right) stands beside NDP MP Romeo Saganash after the debate on Bill C-262 this past Monday February 5. Pohl was also in the House of Commons public gallery for today's historic vote.

The House of Commons has just voted in favour of Bill C-262, An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Numerous chapters - including the Kent County, Kitchener-Waterloo, Quill Plains (Wynyard), North Shore, NWT, Montreal and South Niagara chapters - had contacted their Member of Parliament to encourage them to vote in favour of the legislation. Kent County chapter activist Ann Pohl was in the House of Commons public gallery for both the debate on the bill on February 5 and tonight's second reading vote.

February 7, 2018

Recent statements and news reports have highlighted that Big Oil is pushing to both save and deepen climate-killing provisions in NAFTA, including the energy proportionality and investor-state dispute settlement provisions.

Energy proportionality
NAFTA includes an energy proportionality provision. The Financial Post explains, "[Article 605] means Canada and the US cannot reduce access to each other’s oil, natural gas, coal, electricity or refined petroleum products without an equivalent reduction in domestic access to the same product. So if Canada wanted to cut oil exports to the US by 20 per cent it would have to cut domestic supplies by 20 per cent as well, except in specific circumstances such as the need to protect national security."

This makes it virtually impossible for a Canadian government to phase out oil and gas exports to the United States and to use conventional fuels in Canada to transition to a 100 per cent clean energy economy by 2050.