In this morning's Globe and Mail, four former environment ministers --Tom Siddon, David Anderson, John Fraser and Herb Dahliwal -- published a letter which they have sent to Stephen Harper. The four men -- two Conservatives and two Liberals -- question the wisdom of the Harper government's new environmental legislation, and the process -- the omnibus budget bill -- which is being used to pass it:
We are especially alarmed about any possible diminution of the statutory protection of fish habitat, which we feel could result if the provisions of Bill C-38 are brought into force. Migratory salmon and steelhead are icons of our home province. Our experience convinces us that their continued survival would be endangered without adequate federal regulation and enforcement, particularly in the area of habitat protection.
And they are angry that these changes have been hidden in the budget bill :
With respect to process, we find it troubling that the government is proposing to amend the Fisheries Act via omnibus budget legislation in a manner that we believe will inevitably reduce and weaken the habitat-protection provisions. Regrettably, despite the significance of the legislation, to date the responsible ministers have provided no plausible, let alone convincing, rationale for proceeding with the unusual process that has been adopted. Quite frankly, Canadians are entitled to know whether these changes were written, or insisted upon, by the Minister of Fisheries or by interest groups outside the government. If the latter is true, who are they?
Tom Siddon is particularly incensed at Harper's government:
The people are asking, ‘what is this government up to?’ We’re not stupid, we the people. We don’t understand why you have to roll this all into one bill and ramrod it through Parliament.
“This is unbecoming of the Conservative party to which I belonged.’’
It's truly sad that John A. Macdonald's Conservative Party has been hijacked by a small but determined group of tinpot dictators, whose philosophy of government the former ministers accurately describe as, "using a sledge hammer to swat a fly."
This entry is cross posted at Eradicating Ecocide.