The Shock Doctrine

Disaster Capitalism in Action: canada

Canadian Tories Use Economic Crisis as Opportunity to Eliminate Environmental Protections

Juliet O'Neill, CanWest News Service, January 23, 2009

"The federal government is considering the elimination of environmental assessments on all infrastructure projects of less than $10-million and reducing oversight on bigger projects, says a document leaked to the New Democratic Party. Linda Duncan, the NDP environment critic and an Edmonton MP, cited the document at a news conference Thursday, accusing the federal government of planning a "death blow" to federal environmental protection under the guise of speeding infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy....

"The document, an e-mail from within Environment Canada, says these "short-term measures" would be followed by a new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, as soon as March or April, that would focus on major projects and co-ordinate federal-provincial procedures. Ms. Duncan said the Conservatives are looking for a way to avoid a required public review of the current law by 2010....

"Green Leader Elizabeth May said at a separate news conference that environmental assessments rarely delay projects and even more rarely halt them. She said improvements could be made to the assessment process "but gutting it under cover of the current economic crisis would be, in my mind, just as egregious as what they did in November." She was referring to the federal government's attempt to halt public funds for political parties and other measures in the economic statement that triggered turmoil and the suspension of Parliament."

Jacket Cover