The quiet cuts


Changes to the Environmental Assessment Act mean nearly 500 fewer assessments in British Columbia.

The 492 wide-ranging projects include gravel extraction on the lower Fraser River, run-of-river hydro projects and wind farms, bridge construction as well as demolition of the old Port Mann Bridge, shellfish aquaculture operations, hazardous-waste facilities and liquid-waste disposal.

Ottawa is also walking away from conducting assessments on various agricultural and municipal drainage works, log-handling facilities, small-craft harbour and marina development and expansion, the sinking of ex-warships as artificial reefs, the disposal of dredged material, and a 73-hectare mixed-use development on Tsawwassen First Nation lands.


The quiet cuts


    • We now return you to your regularly scheduled commenting …

  2. Environment is a shared responsibility. BC is still fully capable of reviewing these projects on their own. There is need for two reviews.

    The government of BC is a grown-up government. Certainly they can be trusted to properly review smaller projects in their jurisdiction.

    • And we’re cool if whatever Minister-says-so-legislation BC has will assess the risk and mitigation for impacts on fisheries and oceans, migrating birds, crossboundary waterways, Frist Nations, and other federal responsbilities? Do I get to vote in the next BC election?

      • BC has a population of so-called “environmentalists”. Don’t you trust them to know what is best for their own province for these smaller projects, that are mainly local in scope?

        • Sure i can take my high school chemistry set down to the marina expansion project whenever i like.

          Seriously the real issue is the feds withdrawing from their fiduciary responsibility to conduct joint reviews whenever there are issues that the province does not have the competence, resources or jurisdiction to carry out – personally i have no real objection to allowing the provinces to oversee smaller projects like marina expansions IF they have the competence. In addition JRPs help to offset understandable provincial tendencies to be biased toward economic development, sometimes with disregard to the larger environmental picture; anyone who’s been a BC resident has seen this movie numerous times. If you want current or past examples i can provide them

          Here’s one that i was at this summer. Lots of locals are pissed about this ludicrous proposal that the province has already green lighted – and no they weren’t all NDP supporters. I even came across one local business owner, a life time socred who seems mad enough to go to Ottawa herself or even vote NDP, believe it or not; i’m pretty sure she isn’t the only one.

        • If the projects were only local in scope there wouldn’t be any federal trigger in the first place. Some local projects can have global consequences.

    • BC most definitely doesn’t have the competence in all cases. This is nothing more than a wholesale walking away from Federal responsibilities whose primary beneficiary will be the resource industry. But carry on shilling for the CPC, it’s what you do best.

  3. Through much of the 90’s I was a trustee of the largest public employee DB plan
    in the Maritimes .. initially as an employer rep and later as an employee (union) rep.
    Those were the days of the tech bubble when plans of all kinds were in surplus and
    every money manager was a genius. They were also the days when there was an
    endless stream of plan managers and employers coming through town to persuade
    trustee boards ( primarily employer appointees) that now was the time to convert from
    DB to DC because the the pension streets were going to be paved with gold forever.
    No space here to go into the Powerpoint presentation peregrinations designed to
    limit or eliminate employer contributions to plans which those employers sponsored
    and operated… but when employers want out of plans that were overfunded and when
    they want out of plans that are underfunded it seems to be the logical conclusion that
    they just want out of plans.
    And no matter that a fair number of whining employers are sitting on tons of cash waiting
    for whatever gummint to respond to their many needs.

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