LETTER | It is not Bill C-69 breaking this country apart

Dear Editor,

Bill C-69, dubbed the Impact Assessment Act, would overhaul Canada’s energy regulatory process, changing the rules for project approvals and replacing the National Energy Board with a new Canadian energy regulator. I want the Senate to pass Bill C-69.

All the human impacts from resource projects must be included as part of the assessment in this bill. All the environmental impacts from upstream and downstream along with cumulative impacts legislation must be strong.

What exactly is unfair about studying a project, including all its impacts and having peer reviewed science we can trust? That is what we need. That is what we deserve.

We have the Sustainable Development Goals, UNDRIP and our climate commitments and goals all to guide us when developing rigorous environmental legislation.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that 2°C of warming would be catastrophic for ecological systems and human health, forcing hundreds of millions of people into poverty by 2050.

Scientists agree that we need to drastically reduce emissions and hurriedly transition off fossil fuels so that we do not become extinct.

Climate catastrophe and disasters are becoming not 100 year occurances but every few year occurances, sometimes every year, and sometimes more than once a year now. The crisis is becoming a huge economic hardship for governments, funded by our tax dollars, to handle more and more costlier, nastier disasters.

According to the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the World Health Organization estimates that heat waves, insect-borne diseases, malnutrition, and infectious diseases alone will claim 250,000 lives per year by 2030.

Youth are rising up all over the world and will not stand for inaction on environmental rights and lack of stringent environmental assessment of cumulative impacts on projects which affect their future life on this planet. We are having extinction rebellions.

Canadian students are out in the streets protesting the lack of action on the part of our government. It will get worse over time as more and more catastrophes happen and food becomes more and more scarce. Canadians are tired of being trampled upon for the sake of corporate development.

Ninety-seven per cent of polled Canadians want to protect nature and species at risk. We Canadians are facing a moral, ethical, developmental, economic and social breakdown of catastrophic proportions. We simply cannot allow any new fossil fuel projects to proceed at all.

A total of 132 government nations heard scientists from around the world warn that one million of the planet’s eight million species are threatened with extinction by humans. This makes the climate disaster number one for Bill C-69 to deal with.

Across Canada we have 500 species at risk. All life is being affected and we must work at healing the environment. At the local level we should be busy working to bring species back, not pollute our lands and waters further with new fossil fuel projects.

According to Einstein, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. The so- called economic prosperity from burning fossil fuels goes into the pockets of the energy companies and out of the pockets of the tax payers faced with cleaning up the environmental destruction. Since the 1960’s by giving subsidies and tax breaks to polluting energy companies, we have been subsidizing our own extinction.

It is not Bill C-69 that is breaking this country apart. It is proposed new fossil fuel projects. We Canadians are well aware of the devastation of climate change whether some people choose to deal with the elephant in the room or not.

Even though we face an unprecedented global threat from catastrophic climate impacts, so little is being done to halt or even slow down climate and ecological destruction.

The only thing that really matters in life is action. I want Bill C-69 to pass because we have a constitutional right to life.

Mary Ann Shannon

Terrace, B.C.

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