Canada's native peoples understand how toxic the Harper government is for the environment. So does the Toronto Star:
Bill C-38 included more than $160 million in cuts to environmental spending, significantly impairing our ability to measure or mitigate our impact on Canada’s wilderness and wildlife. Yet it was never put before the Commons environment committee, nor does the bill ever mention climate change.
The Harperites know exactly what they are doing. That is why they do it secretly.
Apparently the Department of Fisheries and Oceans can’t find the $2 million per year required to run the facility, though it will have to scare up the $50 million needed to remediate the lakes in the area upon the centre’s closing. It’s a bewildering decision that calls into question whether the government’s motivations are, as it claims, fiscal, or whether the Conservatives are instead trying to silence a source of inconvenient data.
Meanwhile, we needn’t wonder about the motivations behind the government’s scrapping of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, a federally funded environmental watchdog created by the Mulroney government in 1988. When asked in Parliament how the government justified its decision to cut funding for the organization, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird implied it was because the Conservatives objected to the Round Table’s repeated endorsements of a carbon tax.
The environment gets in the way of profits -- and profits are the be all and end all in Harperland -- even if they result in long term disaster. As the Star says, we need to debate the wisdom of government policy. But this government is not for turning. And it's certainly not for debating.
2012 was a bad year for the environment. One hopes that 2013 will be the year that Canadians turn against the Harper government.
This entry is cross posted at Eradicating Ecocide.