Liberals and NDP cooperate to bypass Ontario’s Endangered Species Act

In the budget bill passed in the Ontario Legislature on Tueday, April 24, 2014, the McGuinty government included 49 amendments to environmental legislation which will excuse landowners and developers from having to take account of endangered species when building and operating wind turbines (or anything else for that matter).

The NDP government voted in favour of the budget bill, in order to avoid an early election.  In exchange for their support, the Liberals, who also don’t want an election, agreed to significant changes demanded by the NDP.  But this party, which purports to be green, made no attempt to obtain concessions on the environmental changes.

The naturalist / environmental community has been relatively silent on the gutting of the Endangered Species Act.  Does nobody care enough about our endangered species to make a fuss, or has everyone simply given up on the McGuinty government?

And if that weren’t enough, it was revealed yesterday (April 27th) that the federal budget bill introduced by the Harper government contains equivalent amendments to federal legislation that will reduce or eliminate environmental protections built up over decades.  What a disaster!

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Posted on April 27, 2012, in Advocacy / politics / legal, Natural environment, Wind turbines. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. All governments are using the economic slowdown (after saving the banks) to wipe away the legal constraints to destruction of our natural heritage that citizens have put in place over decades. These politicians are doing the job that their corporate investors demand.

    “Individuals who destroy the works of man are disparaged as Vandals, whereas those who destroy the works of God are touted as Developers. “ Sand Country Almanac, Aldo Leopold.

  2. I wouldn’t be too hard on the naturalist / environment community, at least on this particular issue. Several groups have been making a fuss about the Liberals’ gutting of environmental protection in the Budget Bill. Even EcoJustice has been making a fuss (see their legal analysis below), which is an interesting turn of events given that the prevailing view of EcoJustice and so many others in this community is that the ends justify the means where clean renewable energy is concerned.

    Here are some articles on the proposed amendments to the Budget Bill 55 by the naturalist / environment community:

    Marketwire (link below) release from The Quetico Foundation
    “Crushing Blow Dealt to Endangered Species and Parks”
    http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/crushing-blow-dealt-endangered-species-parks-legislation-ontarios-budget-bill-1646472.htm

    * Questico Foundation website has more on the budget bill:
    http://www.queticofoundation.org/

    Ontario Nature Action Alert
    Urgent: Tell the Premier to Protect Endanger Wildlife
    http://www.ontarionature.org/act/action_alerts/alert_template.php?n_code=550

    Canadian Environment Law Association 2012
    Ecojustice April 2012 (see page 8 on Schedule 19)
    http://ontarioriversalliance.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Ecojustice-CELA-Legal-Analysis-re-Bill-55-Budget-20121.pdf

    Keith Stelling “Just three more days to speak up for Ontario’s Endangered Species”
    http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2012/04/19/just-seven-more-days-to-speak-up-for-ontarios-endangered-species-threatened-by-wind-turbines/

    Regards,
    Paula C. Peel

  1. Pingback: Liberals and NDP cooperate to bypass Ontario’s Endangered Species Act | Quixotes Last Stand

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