Friday, October 26, 2012

Sustainability and 2012's 2nd Omnibus Bill

Well, it looks like politics is blog-worthy yet again. I can't express enough how disappointed, terrified and weary I am of our current Conservative Majority in the House of Commons in Ottawa. In addition to Conservative party-members choosing to actually award convicted harassers for being apparent “heroines of humanity” based on their own [IMHO very wrong--but not a technically "sustainable" topic so we won't go there] personal beliefs--they're attempting to pass another very serious bill that will change more than 40 existing Acts--and all without transparency, of course. The new bill C-45 has important implications that will definitely effect the sustainability of our environment, our economy, and our Nations' leadership direction.

Previous Bill 2012 C-38

I remember this bill, and it's media coverage very vividly. I remember the heart-wrenching feeling that electing this Majority government was one of the worst voter-decisions in Canadian history. I remember speaking with friends of mine--who work in environmental science--who were seriously outraged by the negligence involved in passing this bill.
What I am asking is where the hell are professional philosophers in the current political and environmental mess that is Canada? 
For try as I might, I could find no commentaries by bona fide philosophers on the infamous Omnibus Budget Bill (Bill C-38), the closure of the Experimental Lakes Area, characterizing environmentalists as proto-terrorists>, changes to the Fisheries Act, the elimination of Canada’s Ocean Contaminants Program, or opposition of first nations to the Northern Gateway Pipeline
~ Andrew Park, "It's the Ecology, Stupid; Where are the Philosophers?"
That's me, on the far-right!
I attended a large rally to ask for transparency on the matter, and thought maybe the worst was over and our policy makers and scientists in charge of sustainability would be able to tackle this to the best of their abilities. I had hope and faith that this would not destroy the compassion that Canadians have for protecting our environment.

I thought we were at the peak of Canada's destruction of Environmental policies...


Bill 2012 C-45

Tabled here, the second Omnibus Bill intended to be passed in 2012 is advertised by the Conservatives as a bill to enact the remainder of the 2012 budget objectives. It is 400-something pages long, and contains significant changes to more than 40 existing Acts, including the controversial elimination of the Navigable Waters Protection Act.

The bill kills off independent tribunals that examined things such as hazardous materials in the workplace and set the rates for employment insurance premiums, while making workers pay taxes on their employers' contributions to group health and accident insurance plans.
It also sharply reduces project approvals required under the Navigable Waters Protection Act, sets time limits on worker complaints under the Canada Labour Code and makes additional changes to an Environmental Assessment Act that was essentially rewritten by the Conservative government last spring. ~ CTV

My friend on twitter, Eric Reder, brought this to my attention. I have to admit, I've been a bit sick lately but I've still be following and reading the news. None of this was covered, and it feels as though --just like Bill C-38-- the bill is being gently passed in a non-chelant way that really questions the democratic structure, and long-term sustianability, of our Nations government. As The Wilderness Committee brilliantly stated:
"The introduction of over 100 pieces of Canadian legislation in only two bills is an assault on democracy. Disguising sweeping cuts to environmental regulations is an assault on nature, and on the environment that provides us clean air and clean water, and life itself."
What really gets me (as a non-fascist): is that we require the Conservative party's "permission" to have the opposition express concern on this. How is this democratic? Please tell me. I'd really like to know.

And so would others who retweet it in concern. Our government has to be "willing" to accept amendments to this bill. Like, REALLY? I'm certainly not a rah-rah NDP or Liberal supporter but Primary Opposition views on this seem like common sense.

"The problem with the Conservatives is it's always a take it or leave it approach," Mulcair said.

That's not an approach, that's a Dictatorship. And it's not Canadian.
I wonder: what on EARTH is the point of having other MP's that aren't conservative-minded even sitting in seats on the House of Commons if the Conservative's continue to do this? I'm being serious. This is exactly what people mean when they say our current majority Government is an Assault on Democracy. In all fairness: that's exactly what this is. I feel like

I'm living in a Nation where we're all supposed to line up and get permission to ask questions about national issues? Our government could at least have the decency to not treat their people like idiots and keep us informed. Skeptics and critics suggest the "devil is always in the details" -- and at 457 pages, the omnibus legislation includes lots and lots of them, obviously. Let's see how this sweater unravels...

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with your blog and I am also afraid and majorly disappointed in this government secretive behavior. I cannot understand how he can get away with signing documents like FIPA without a debate on it. Harper thinks he is a King but is a dictator. It is sad when 61% of the population who didn't vote for him no longer have a voice. Sad day for Canada!