In case you missed it, we are in the middle of something Environment Canada has dubbed Canadian Environment Week.
And – surprise, surprise – this has coincided with an Internet protest from 500 factions, including green advocates, church and social justice groups, political parties, First Nations and private companies.
This widespread campaign, called Black Out Speak Out, was organized to draw attention to Ottawa’s massive C-38 omnibus bill, which they say threatens both the environment and free speech.
Ottawa, to counter the symbolic move, had federal cabinet ministers fanned out across the country to tout the government’s budget plan and its supporting legislation, which would rewrite several environmental laws and significantly reduce the number of federal scientists monitoring Canada’s air, wildlife, water-ways and oceans.
Are there any real winners here? Will the one-day blackout actually make any difference? Is this majority government not in the driver’s seat, regardless of any special interest public outcry?
The answers to those questions remain to be seen.
But back to the initiative called Canadian Environment Week … The EC theme is Working for a Clean, Safe and Sustainable Environment. Unlike the annual global Earth Week event, the hype and buzz this time around is minimal. Except for news about the blackout, activities seem few and far between. At the end of the day, it will likely be remembered for the protests and not much else.
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE GREEN HUB IN CANADA
What Canadian beaches garnered international eco-label for high environmental standards … Are there green garden snobs in your neighbourhood? … How an Italian renewable energy company set up a wind farm in Alberta … How Winnipeg-based firm has a new approach to recycling energy … Is tourist favourite Banff really green? …
Last but not least: And outsider’s perspective: How a Washington Post writer sees Canada and its overhauling of environmental rules. And an insider’s perspective: How government officials say Alberta oil sands monitoring is being stepped up under environmental plan.