LEAKED MOTION: More Witnesses Needed To Ensure Integrity and Safety of Canada’s Environmental Assessment Process

House of Commons Standing Committee hasn’t heard from Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the National Energy Board, or affected First Nations. OTTAWA, CANADA (February 9, 2012) – As rumours circulate in Ottawa that the Conservative government is planning to gut the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA), maybe as early as next week, an in-camera motion from the committee examining the Act, has been leaked to underline public safety and national interest concerns that affect all Canadians.

The leak comes as Prime Minister Harper is busy making deals with China about Canadian natural resources that will have significant, long-term impacts on the Canadian environment.

Scheduled for debate this afternoon by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, the motion calls for more witnesses to appear before the committee, including the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the National Energy Board:

Notice of Motion from Laurin Liu

That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee halt its consideration of its draft report and call additional witnesses to appear, in regard to the Statutory Review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, including, but not limited to, the National Energy Board, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, affected communities, labour, Inuit representatives, Metis and First Nations, and additional provincial and territorial governments.

Que, conformément à l’article 108(2) du Règlement, le Comité interrompe l’étude de son projet de rapport et qu’il invite de nouveaux témoins à comparaître, en lien avec son examen prévu par la loi de la Loi canadienne sur l’évaluation environnementale, incluant mais ne se limitant pas à : l’Office nationale de l’énergie, la Commission canadienne de sureté nucléaire, le Commissaire à l’environnement et au développement durable, des communautés affectés, syndicats, représentants des Inuits, Métis et Premières Nations ainsi que d’autres gouvernements provinciaux et territoriaux.

In the Fall of 2011, the committee gave just two business days notice that the hearing process to review CEAA was being cancelled and all written submissions had to be received by November 28. Some civil society organizations that were scheduled to speak were prevented from doing so, and public safety, labour and First Nations were not given the chance to be heard.

In the rush to approve risky industrial projects like the proposed Enbridge oil supertankers and pipelines plan, and to implement freshly-inked agreements to substantially increase exports of uranium to China, the Conservative government is abandoning due process, and public health and safety are being compromised as a result.

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