Wednesday, September 02, 2015

How Harper Turned a Federal Blind Eye to Canada's Lakes, Rivers and Fish Habitat

There was nothing accidental about it. This wasn't oversight or even negligence. In his decade in power, Shifty Steve Harper has gutted, bit by bit, Canada's fisheries protection  regulations - and he's not finished yet.  

"Over the last decade, what we've seen is a not-so-gradual abandonment of the fish habitat protection field," said University of Calgary law professor Martin Olszynski.

He has sifted through reams of data and dozens of development applications to conclude that federal protection for fisheries and waterways has been declining for more than a decade.

Olszynski found environmental oversight by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans dropped dramatically during the 2000s — a time when Canada saw huge spending in the resource industries.

And he concludes changes to environmental law in 2012 weren't intended to cut red tape, as the government suggested, but to lower the environmental bar.

"What my data suggests is that the narrative provided doesn't add up in terms of this unduly intrusive regulatory regime. It was never really about reducing red tape."
In 2004, the government decided to minimize oversight for projects deemed low-risk, which cut the number of projects it reviewed in half. The rest of the decrease came in 2012 after the government revamped environmental laws.

Over that same period, enforcement fell off a cliff.

Olszynski reports that environmental warnings and charges under the Fisheries Act fell to about 50 from about 300. Staff time allotted to enforcement dropped to 10,000 hours from 35,000.

The department's budget was cut by $80 million in 2012. Another $100 million in cuts are planned over three years beginning this year

1 comment:

the salamander said...

.. on the Fisheries Scandals I've made the point endlessly, that there's a Pulitzer awaiting the intrepid journo who follows the trail of Harper gutting enviro legislation. Peter Kent, Keith Ashfield, Gail Shea, Joe Oliver, Jim Flaherty.. and one supposes, Nigel Wright and Ray Novak are just as complicit. Oh, did I leave out John Baird? It was always about Big Energy, Big China.. and Big Superpower Stevie.. and it was just that shallow a sellout. you've nailed it again.. it was always about lowering the bar re killing species, pollution, disrupting environment.. and outright deceit, obstruction and conspiracies.. including secret trade deals.. one of which sign in Russia... with China. Its all about fracking the daylights out of Canada & damn the cost or reality.. bring the tar sands to China.. plus every stinking single log and its bark to China to bolster The Chinese ruining their environment, along with our economy.. Hallelujah Harper... our lying deceiving creep PM.. he wants 4 more years to render Canada radioactive & prop up a greaseball evangel thug like Jason Kenney to replace him midstream.. and manage the discrete sectoral downturns of economies running phony surplus after 8 or 9 straight deficits