Tuesday, June 17, 2008

and the root of the word is conserve

The horrendous part about being a Thatcherite Conservative is how the Conservative party of Canada keeps alienating me. If this keeps up, rather exhibiting a well-worn apathy and keeping my $1.75 in my pocket - I may seriously have to consider voting for the Green party in the next election in order to stop monumental stupidities like this one from becoming the rigor of the day.
CBC News has learned that 16 Canadian lakes are slated to be officially but quietly "reclassified" as toxic dump sites for mines. The lakes include prime wilderness fishing lakes from B.C. to Newfoundland.

Environmentalists say the process amounts to a "hidden subsidy" to mining companies, allowing them to get around laws against the destruction of fish habitat.
Under the Fisheries Act, it's illegal to put harmful substances into fish-bearing waters. But, under a little-known subsection known as Schedule Two of the mining effluent regulations, federal bureaucrats can redefine lakes as "tailings impoundment areas."

Surely I cannot be the only conservative who understands the root of the word conservative comes from the word ‘conserve’?


shlemazl said...

Just a minute.

Firstly you are basing your remarks on CBC article. Hardly a reliable source. It bares all the typical hallmarks of a censationalist emotion stirrer based on something that one grandmother said: "“Tailings are part of the mining process,” Robertson said, “and, if treated properly, if they're built into a proper structure and kept submerged, they should be able to withstand the test of time and actually not pose a detriment to the environment.”

But James Dennis, a 76-year-old elder of the local Tahltan people, told CBC News he doesn’t buy that."

Secondly, although it is arguably beneificial for the environment if we were to stop production altogether, I am not sure that is the right option.

Thirdly, industry has to be given a chance AND measures put in place to protect the lakes. Being familiar with environmental regulations in Canada and the UK and the US I would agree that we have scope for improvements - ours are the least rigorous.

However I am not sure the Conservative Government is to blame - changes like this take time and they seem to be moving in the right direction.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Firstly, the mining industry has a long and less than stellar history of being in need of serious oversight and extensive monitoring in Canada. Just think Cape Breton and go one from there.

Secondly, while it is entirely possible this kind of thing might have happened under liberal governance the conservatives are in a position to end it right now and choose not to.

Why the government would grant a private company the right to dump in a public freshwater lake rather than building a containment pond on private land is beyond me.

But more importantly, I am seeing a pattern of disastrous stewardship here. Think isotopes and shut down, failure to pass LSV legislation and now this.

shlemazl said...

"Think isotopes and shut down..."

I am rather familiar with the Maple project. It was a bad idea - what's worse it was given to AECL to implement it. The isotope problem resulted from Maple not being availble years ago like it should have. Closure was the right thing to do because there was no end in sight and they could have spent millions and millions more of the taxpayers money without seeing any benefit for it.

I disagree with Tories rasining questions as to the independence of CNSC on technical matters. However the problem came about from a bad decision that is decades old and Tories did right by closing the project.

saskboy said...

The Greens would certainly welcome your vote; it's not like another party could really be trusted to end subsidies like this one.