Environmentalists hold parallel hearing to support Bill C-69

Friday, April 12, 2019
Eric Reder

WINNIPEG - Environmental and community experts excluded from the Bill C-69 Senate Environment Committee hearings are holding a parallel hearing. The Senate committee is presently touring Canada to hold hearings on Bill C-69, which will reform Canada’s federal impact assessment law. 

“Industry wrote their own environmental assessment legislation in 2012. Bill C-69 is the first step to righting this wrong,” said Wilderness Committee Wilderness and Water Campaigner Eric Reder. “We cannot afford to delay this bill with a cross-country sideshow to hear from the very companies whose mess we’re still cleaning up.”

The legislation would require meaningful engagement on projects that have significant environmental, health, social and economic impacts. It would also require a regulator to rely on science and Indigenous knowledge to make its decisions and explain how it arrives at its conclusions. Currently, the Senate environment committee is reviewing the legislation and must pass it into law before the federal election is called in the fall.

"One of the most unforgettable results arising from the enactment of CEAA (Canadian Environmental Assessment Act) 2012 was the loss of the public's trust in government, so it's quite disappointing that our request to present on Bill C-69 at the Saskatoon hearing was rejected. Although we would have loved to present our submissions with our community in our home province, we're thankful for this opportunity to speak in Winnipeg,” said Taylor-Anne Yee of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES). “SES supports Bill C-69, as it is an improvement from CEAA 2012, though we ask that further improvements be considered to strengthen it further.”

"We are running out of time to make the changes necessary to ensure my generation and those who come after us have a future that includes a healthy environment and access to the natural resources Canadians need to survive,” said Heather Fast, professor of environmental law at the University of Manitoba. “By passing Bill C-69 without substantial amendment, the Senate has a chance to contribute to a sustainable shift in Canadian society that will influence positive change at all levels of government."

"The nuclear industry is asking for a free pass when it comes to examining the full impacts of its projects by seeking exemptions from this Act. This would be a big mistake,” said Anne Lindsey of Concerned Citizens of Manitoba “We support keeping nuclear projects where they belong — in Bill C-69 — so their full environmental, social and health impacts can be fully understood by decision-makers."

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A live-stream of the event will be broadcasted here: https://www.facebook.com/events/344842872808838/

For more information, please contact:

Eric Reder | Wilderness and Water Campaigner, Wilderness Committee
204-997-8584, eric@wildernesscommittee.org

Anne Lindsey | Concerned Citizens of Manitoba
204-782-3949, annelindsey@live.ca

Heather Fast 
204-770-2358, heathermfast@gmail.com

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