The E.U., the U.S. and New Zealand are all much stronger in their anticipatory environmental assessments

On Friday, June 15th, 2018 in Debate, Environmental Assessment, Parliament

Elizabeth May

Madam Speaker, in the past I practised environmental law for a while and I have worked in the environmental field for a long time and I am quite familiar with laws in other countries.

It is unlikely that the hon. member will take my word for it, but Canada does not have the best environmental assessment process, the toughest regulations, and the best endangered species law at all. That was the case even before Bill C-38 in the spring of 2012. After the changes to environmental assessment by the Harper government in Bill C-38, we had one of the worst, weakest, and most inconsistent and incoherent environmental assessment processes in the industrialized world. Sadly, tragically, Bill C-69 would not restore the consistent, predictable process we had that ensured that anything within federal jurisdiction would be reviewed.

Just so the hon. member knows what countries to which I refer, anything in the European Union is stronger, the United States is much stronger, and New Zealand is much stronger in their anticipatory environmental assessments, which is why it is such a tragedy that Canada, which knows how to do this better, is failing to do so now.

Larry Maguire – Member for Brandon-Souris

Madam Speaker, I think there was a question there from my colleague. I appreciate her experience in the law end of environmental science as well.

One of the main concerns that I have with the government’s bill coming forward the way it has is the fact that people have lost confidence in some of the principles that were there before. If they have, and to my colleague’s point, why in the world did the government set targets for its greenhouse gas emission reductions exactly the same as what the Harper government set, except the Liberals have not been as successful at it? The Harper government was the only government in Canadian history to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

I take my colleague at her word for the work that she has done in other countries. I note that some of the European countries are certainly in the Arctic circle that my colleague across the way and I have had the opportunity to see.

As a result of the amount of rhetoric in the 370-page bill, it is hard to discern what the government’s intentions are.

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