Maple Ridge Residents Concerned about Gutting of Envrionmental Regulations

MAPLE RIDGE - Last night NDP MP and Deputy West Coast Fisheries critic Fin Donnelly, held a well-attended town hall meeting in Maple Ridge about the Harper Conservatives attack on environmental protection.

“The Conservative government has made changes to long-standing legislation that will seriously weaken environmental protection without having a transparent and respectful discussion with Canadians,” said Donnelly. “I was asked to provide the people of Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Mission with a forum to discuss their concerns.”

The Conservative government recently rammed through changes in their Budget Implementation Acts (Bill C-45 and Bill C-38) that have gutted the Fisheries Act, Navigable Waters Protection Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. These changes have removed “triggers” for environmental assessments, providing less oversight for big industrial projects.

“The natural environment is important to people in this region,” said Donnelly. “Whether you're a recreational fisherman on the Alouette, or a family who enjoys spending a Saturday at Whonnock Lake, the weakening of environmental oversight is an issue people are worried about.”