Friday, June 8, 2012

Casseroles for Environmental Rights

No one likes to read blog posts about politics and voting. No really, it's true (I have stats and minimal comments to prove it). Which is unfortunate, really, since by plugging our ears and shouting 'lalalalala!' on the increasingly depressing Conservative government we're allowing our country to do a whole slew of nasty things to our health, women's rights and the environment.

Yep, I will admit that I honestly hate hearing about what the Harper Government has in store for us each day. I no longer see myself in the political and social stance that my country's government is setting in place. For whom did Harper government back out of the Kyoto Agreement? Or cut thousands of environmental protection and Parks Canada jobs? Or put forth in a sneaky bill a drastic reduction in environmental regulation, policing in conjunction with mass scientist muzzling?

Definitely not it's citizens. Not for me.

Bill c-38, which the government is trying to push through WITHOUT citizen input or debate includes five scary changes and reasons to speak out (from BlackOutSpeakOut ou SilenceOnParle and why The David Suzuki Foundation is Speaking Out):
  1. While they are cutting funding left and right to environmental protection agencies, the Harper government is funding 8 million dollars into the Canada Revenue Agency to police and audit charities and non-profit organizations (such as the David Suzuki Foundation)... making it more difficult for them to exercise their right to advocate for environmental policies and change. (um, don't see them upping the policing for oil companies now do we?).
  2. Our participation in a democratic system is being completely ignored. Supposedly there is a well established process for citizen involvement and debate when it comes to such sweeping changes (unfortunately, my political involvement is really only since the days of a conservative minority government, so having an open democratic government almost seems utopic to me). Shockingly, the government has put forth these drastic changes in one massive budget bill... that doesn't allow any citizen input. At all.
  3. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act will be replaced... with something that has much less policing and investigation of new projects and new substances while allowing the government to 'ok' whatever new projects come their way (i.e. money making, polluting Big Oil projects). This means that our government will no longer be adequately protecting us against toxins and pollutants nor will they be safeguarding the country we live in and the resources that we depend on. 
    1. Americans, this implicates you as well. Harper's push to get the oil sands piped to the US? That was WITH the current environmental assessment procedures lobbying against the decision. With less policing projects that affect our climate, oceans and forests will most certainly affect yours (it's not like the air, water or trees give a crap about borders).
  4. Funding for environmental testing and safety are being cut or completely removed. Jobs in Oceans and Fisheries are being cut by the thousands (while our military budget for an imaginary war doesn't seem to have a lot of money woes...). 'Nuff Said. 
  5. This bill would effectively muzzle government scientists and restrict their ability to communicate and speak out regarding their findings. This is so beyond shocking, that I can't even begin to articulate how disappointed and ashamed I am that my government is trying to restrict and control scientific exploration, discovery and debate. 
As you can see on BlackOutSpeakOut's web page, hundreds of environmental charities and organizations are joining together to fight this colossal step back in Canada's democratic and societal history. (SilenceOnParle pour le site français).

Today is Ocean's Day... and Canada has THREE Oceans (personally the Atlantic coast is my favourite- so powerful and majestic). 

Yes the government is frustrating, yes we feel helpless to create change, but THIS is a reason to be angry. Bill c-38 is a reason to get up in arms. Regardless of your political leanings. Regardless if you're a hardcore, tree hugging hippie or not. 

We can take courage and inspiration to become agents of change from the Casseroles in Québec (and now rippling across the country and internationally). As Québec citizens step outside to fight for their right to speak out and protest, so to should we not allow this blow to our political rights as Canadian citizens (read Mr Suzuki's comparison between the Québec protests and the implications on our country and government).

(these nightly 8pm protests have been happening for the past two weeks- and continue to do so)
Together, we can take our pots and pans, write letters (or send pre-written letters), sign petitions and gather our democratic right to protect our country, health and to be heard. 

Sign the BlackOutSpeakOut Petition (international readers are able as well)
Send a David Suzuki prepared letter in honour of Oceans Day to Stephen Harper
Send a letter to your local MP
Or to... Stephen Harper himself: 

article copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. Thank you for posting, and for all the links. I am generally complacent when it comes to our government, but this bill really gets me going!

  2. First of all, I can SO relate to this! Remember that series of posts I did on what I learned from the BP oil spill earlier this year? I got so many comments and emails on the first two in the series and on the last, when I listed what we could do to change things (participate in our own democracy), guess how many comments I got? ONE! LOL. It's like I turned on the snooze button. And worst of all, guess how many times I've written my representatives about oil since then? ZERO. It's terrible! I really need to get on that.

    I love posts like this. We HAVE to remind ourselves and each other that our governments are US. WE have to do something, WE have to participate in order to see the things we want to see. Nothing is going to get done without our participation. Period.


I love hearing from you! So I don't miss a comment, I like "pre-approving" them :)
I ask only that we stay respectful.
Also, please note that this is a personal blog and not a space for advertising your company. I reserve the right to delete "advertising" comments.

**NB: The ANONYMOUS option is the BEST way to comment if you don't have a blogger or established google/gmail account.