Elizabeth May supports BC Greens’ opposition to Bill 12

Elizabeth May strongly opposed to bill that could exempt LNG plants from Species at Risk Act

OTTAWA – Elizabeth May supports Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Deputy Leader of the B.C. Green Party, in his opposition to Bill 12, which is currently before the provincial legislature.

The bill would complete the process of devolving environmental oversight of federal port land to the provinces, port authorities or private entities. This could allow for new developments on port land, notably Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants, to circumvent the little that remains of federal environmental oversight legislation, including the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012.

“I was strongly opposed to this scheme to circumvent the SARA when it was before the Finance committee, and I believe its coordinating provincial counterpart to be equally troubling,” Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands, said. “I fully support Dr. Weaver’s efforts to oppose Bill 12 and close the loopholes created by federal legislation.”

The changes to federal regulation necessary for this devolution of federal environmental oversight were contained within the Harper Conservatives’ 460-page omnibus bill that was pushed through Parliament last fall. May spoke in opposition to the changes when the bill was in committee, citing a West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) memo decrying the changes as ‘a threat to environmental safety and democracy.’ Ms. May notified WCEL of the alarming changes when the bill was before Parliament.

“These changes are sweeping and enormously harmful to the constituents I was elected to represent,” May said. “No matter the energy goals of the current BC government, LNG plants and other developments in BC ports must be subject to rigorous environmental standards. We’ve come to expect this level of disregard for environmental laws from the Harper Conservatives. It is disheartening to see the Clark Liberals following suit.”