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Why is CPAWS Speaking Out? Reason No. 3: We Believe Canadians Have a Right to be Heard.


People the world over envy the democratic rights we enjoy as Canadians, including opportunities to participate in public discourse. This is what allows us to bring our differing points of view and knowledge to the table when major decisions are being made about our country’s future. It enables us to provide decision-makers a deeper understanding of the issues that they may not have gained otherwise.

While we can understand the desire to improve efficiency in environmental review processes, we do not agree with the measures being imposed in the 2012 federal budget bill to achieve this efficiency. The proposed changes to environmental review legislation could exclude thousands of groups and individuals by limiting participation to only those groups or individuals who are “directly affected” by the project being assessed or those who have particular expertise.

This means that for CPAWS and our supporters, who have participated in many public consultation processes about major resource development projects in recent decades, there will now be more limited opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way. Healthy and informed debate is a vital component of sound decision-making. Without this dialogue, our precious natural resources will become more vulnerable to the impacts of fast-tracked industrial development projects, with serious consequences for the future of our magnificent country.

We believe that all Canadians have a right to be heard. Whether or not we agree with the perspectives of industry or even the opinions held by other environmental organizations, we will always defend their right to share these perspectives and opinions.

On June 4th, speak out to protect YOUR right, and that of all Canadians, to express your views about our country’s future.  Visit www.blackoutspeakout.ca to learn more.