In a recent column in the Province newspaper, Gwen Barlee hit the nail on the head when she pointed out the B.C. provincial Environmental Assessment Office, “emasculated to the point of ineptitude” has never once rejected a proposal.
This is a common process undertaken by governments when they are fundamentally opposed to an agency or function or wish to reduce it to a rubber-stamp operation.
They underfund it and hack away at it with laws and regulations until it is emasculated.
The BC Liberals would love to do the same thing to the B.C. public school system, and the federal Conservatives have been gunning for the CBC for years.
When a function has been reduced like this and can no longer do the job it is supposed to do, it becomes a failure in the eyes of the public and it is much easier to justify privatizing it or shutting it down.
At the federal Environmental Assessment hearings for the failed Taseko mine proposal for Fish Lake, I heard several local supporters of the Taseko plan mumbling and grumbling about the fact that our B.C. Environmental Assessment Office had passed the project, so why should the feds have any say in it!
How convenient for them that the proposal was passed by an environmental assessment office “emasculated to the point of ineptitude.”
Now Taseko is bringing it up again, stating that what was previously impossible is now possible and it will now miraculously be able to operate the mine without trashing the lake.
From what I can tell, the new proposal is even worse than the old one but now that the federal Conservatives have a majority, we may be looking at a far different situation.
These right-wing governments and their supporters always want to choose development over conservation and turn a blind eye on the fact that global warming has human causes in their zeal to support business, development, and “moving forward” as they like to say.