“Black Out Speak Out” day in Canada

06/04/2012 15:54 by Laura Winter

Our current film series focuses on environmental issues and nature conservation along our sailing route. Today, however, we've chosen to highlight a campaign to protect the environment in another location – Canada.

While we are currently sailing and visiting conservation and research projects in the Caribbean, we are also aware of threats to the environment in other locations. In Canada, the latest federal budget threatens the country's land, water and climate.

Today, June 4, 2012, dozens of organizations across Canada are joining forces to protest the changes to Canada's environmental legislation that are included in the budget implementation bill. They are speaking up to protect Canada's nature and democracy.

The budget implementation bill, Bill C-38, contains 170 pages of changes to Canada's environmental legislation. These will weaken environmental laws and silence the voices of those who seek to defend them. A small sample of the proposed changes includes:

  • - repealing the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, which means that Canada officially pulls out of the Kyoto Protocol
  • - repealing the Environmental Assessment Act and replacing it with a new, weaker version. As an example, “environmental effects” will be limited to fish and fish habitat, aquatic species included in the Species at Risk Act, and migratory birds.
  • - allowing the federal government to override decisions by the National Energy Board on the approval of pipeline projects.
  • - closing down Canada's ocean contaminants research program. Researchers with Fisheries and Oceans have in the past produced important research on the thinning of seabirds' eggshells as a result of DDT and the presence of dioxins in pulp and paper mill effluent.

Today over 13,000 Canadian websites have been blacked out for the day to protest these and many other proposed changes in Bill C-38, which together have been described as an attack on Canada's nature.

You can participate by

  • - signing the petition by Black Out Speak Out, “Defend Canada's Democracy and Environment from Bill C-38”
  • - supporting the campaign with Facebook and Twitter updates and pictures
  • - writing to your local MP and to party leaders. Mailing addresses can be found at www.blackoutspeakout.ca

For more information, visit www.blackoutspeakout.ca

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