View topic - June 4 blackout and speakout against cdn Bill C-38

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PostPosted: June 5th, 2012, 10:02 pm 
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I agree with your aim but I wonder what sort effect it can have.
I just heard an interview with our Prime Minister in which he said that he doesn't bother listen to Canadian media.


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PostPosted: June 5th, 2012, 10:29 pm 
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Erhard, why in the world would you make such a presumptuous and personal statement about my level of knowledge when I just said how little I knew about this bill? Is it your stance that absolutely no reform would be worthwhile? You have cited a very good example of how a seemingly innocent (perhaps routine) decision by a provincial official was actually within federal jurisdiction. Don't you think that there are a gazillion incidents such as this that the regulatory process could be streamlined to some degree? I did not say that I support this bill - I said that some changes are needed.


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2012, 7:07 am 
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JF, for someone who seems to be so knowledgeable about MNR processes they seem to have left you in the dark.

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Erhard, why in the world would you make such a presumptuous and personal statement about my level of knowledge when I just said how little I knew about this bill?

From you past posts we know that you are very knowledgeable of MNR issues and processes - so forgive me that I poke you in the ribs and suggest you read up on this impending legislation.

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Don't you think that there are a gazillion incidents such as this that the regulatory process could be streamlined to some degree? I did not say that I support this bill - I said that some changes are needed.

I just would love to hear you say: "The package of proposed changes are most likely bad for the environment and thus should not become the new law."

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PostPosted: June 6th, 2012, 7:55 am 
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I will go so far to say that the entire package of proposed changed may result in some negative results to the environment. But I really have no definitive knowledge if that is the case or not. I just hate the rhetoric - on both sides. As I understand it, there are too many items being included in this bill. By the same token, it may not be fair to say that everything in the bill is bad. Having worked in both industry and for government, nothing is more frustrating than the duplication of regulatory processes. This duplication is just as troublesome to me as a taxpayer and even as a paltry investor of some mutual funds.


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2012, 8:08 am 
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Glad to hear Becky Mason speak out on this.

I live in the US, but there too it should be in the constitution that you can't tack on bills to budget measures. Legislation should be considered on its own merits, otherwise there is so much political compromise that nothing makes sense and the powerful abuse the rest of us.

I think it makes sense to delegate power to local jurisdictions, (wherever possible-- sometimes it can't be). Big government is as bad as big business, and when big govt is corrupt it has a wider effect than a local government would have. It seems like a state or province would be more accountable to its people than the national government. There might be "duplication", but this is not inefficient: 13 provincial departments of the environment are smaller in size, because they only serve their own area. And their laws can be tailored to local needs and conditions. We have to start trusting the good sense of our neighbors and stop relying on big politicians with makeup men and advertising agencies.

Likewise, big companies are too uninvolved with the local people and the local environment. Their boards don't live where the work is being done, nor do the executives; and most stockholders don't even know the board or the executives. All this anonymity makes it easy to not have a conscience, to ravage the land and the workers and then run with the money. Even if a local small business owner doesn't have a conscience, his neighbors and friends will let him hear about it. It's when people and organizations get too powerful that we start to have trouble.

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PostPosted: June 6th, 2012, 9:52 am 
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What Harper may be saying here could be... "trust me, I know what's best for you"... I don't think so, I'll be writing my MP to explain how Harper has lost my vote as a result of all this, but... I got to see lots of problems with EAs and the Fisheries Act in the past, so I'll hold my nose here for a moment and admit that the reasons for streamlining development approvals processes may actually have some merit (or not, we'll see).

The reasons that the past processes often broke down were partly due to all the complexities in the system... nobody seemed to understand everything that needed to be understood, resulting in plenty of incompetence on both sides. Some (not all) civil servants, both provincial and federal, were hired on at times as a result of unions stepping in and enforcing redeployment for those who had lost jobs elsewhere... this resulted in cluelessness, bureaucrats that didn't have the faintest idea of the basic principles at stake when passing judgement on environmental and resources issues (exercising authority, however, never seemed to be a problem).

And there was cluelessness on the part of the public, at times making poorly informed claims on the same issues, bogging the process down with misinformation, when facts - not lies, delusions and half-truths - were needed for credibility in forming the case against development (we got to see some of this here but I am not going to name names now).

All this still doesn't absolve Harper IMO... at the same time, times are tough and decisons have to be made. That balancing act being performed out there needs to be understood and I'll be the first to admit I don't understand it all.

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PostPosted: June 6th, 2012, 1:50 pm 
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All I can say is what these guys say.
I am not an expert, but like many outdoors people.....
http://sync.sympatico.ca/news/scientist ... s/a6f7eabf
Jeff
Oh yeah our kids our going to pay for this short term grab big time.

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PostPosted: June 6th, 2012, 1:58 pm 
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Like JF, I don't yet have a strong position for or against the changes. I'm sure there is opportunity to refine and improve processes to remove redundancies. At the same time, the gut feel I have is that the proposal is to remove key steps, stop looking at certain aspects all together and disregard important factors as not being 'commercially' relevant. So, gut feel - this is a bad thing. Academic/analytical feel? - I need more time & detail. At a high level, reducing fisheries protection is bad, but letting a cottager repair a boathouse or crib dock is not going to change a lake. Extending the review period for park management plans probably isn't a big deal, but allowing more development with fewer restrictions would be a problem. Reviewing management plans every 10 years might actually slow down development, then again it might also slow down maintenance. Not repeating Provincial steps in an environmental review at a Federal level could make sense - but the Federal level should still evaluate the input and form an independent conclusion. On top of that, the Provincial and Federal responsibilities differ so while a Provincial review is good input, there should still be additional Federal requirements to also be satisfied.

Ok, so I'm pretty sure that I'm against the changes regardless.

At the same time I am quite sure that slipping these changes in through the budget is blatantly avoiding the legislative requirements and protections that are in place in existing legislation. Whether the changes could be good or not, the process is bad.

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PostPosted: June 7th, 2012, 10:06 am 
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You can blackout and speakout all you want - but that will not change the actions of Steve Harper. The situation is that the Conservatives have a majority government (and the Liberals did the same when they had a majority) and they can do whatever they want for the next 3 years.

The challenge is to be ready for the next election. 62% of those who voted in the last federal election did not vote for the Conservatives. There are 3 political parties that split the centre and left of centre vote.

So what do we do? One of the 3 "left" parties have to become so popular as to win at least 38% of the vote. Or 2 or 3 of the parties form a coalition. Or one or 2 parties get absorbed into one of the parties. Or.............

It is OK to be concerned about the changes in the environmental policies, but these concerns will have to accumulate into the policy platform for a political party that will become attractive to a majority of Canadian voters by the next election.

But in the meantime, it may not be all doom and gloom. During the Mike Harris Conservative government reign in Ontario, there was a major expansion of Ontario Provincial Parks and protected areas. Maybe Steve will surprise us?


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PostPosted: June 7th, 2012, 1:49 pm 
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JCooper wrote:
But in the meantime, it may not be all doom and gloom. During the Mike Harris Conservative government reign in Ontario, there was a major expansion of Ontario Provincial Parks and protected areas. Maybe Steve will surprise us?



True, and during the Mulroney era there were significant improvements to environmental protection and a huge increase to penalties for poaching in national parks.

Unfortunately there seems to have been a huge change in priorities across the board. In Ontario, even the NDP let major changes to environmental protections get passed in the current Liberal budget. That's right, the 2 'other options' used the same technique at the provincial level as the Conservatives are using at the federal level. This is something that does worry me.

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