Penticton protesters join national chorus

Rallies organized across Canada to voice opposition to omnibus budget bill that critics say weakens environmental rules

Mark and Deborah Webb protest Bill C-38 on Saturday outside MP Dan Albas's office.

Mark and Deborah Webb protest Bill C-38 on Saturday outside MP Dan Albas's office.

Protesters in Penticton added their voices Saturday to others opposed to the content and review process of the federal Conservative government’s budget implementation bill.

The print version of Bill C-38 runs to 452 pages and contains a host of varied legislative amendments, most notably to environmental laws, including a streamlined environmental assessment process and a provision to give cabinet the final say on major pipeline projects.

“What they’re doing is dismantling social programs and the laws,” said Deborah Webb, who organized the Penticton protest, one of 45 confirmed to take place Saturday outside Conservative MPs’ offices across Canada.

It’s not just the content of Bill C-38 that has Webb and others angry, but the manner in which it’s to be enacted. Critics complain the omnibus bill is simply too large and unwieldy to be put through in one package, and should therefore be pieced out and sent to committees for proper study.

Conservatives have said Bill C-38, particularly the part to do with the environmental assessment process, is critical to keep Canada’s economic recovery rolling, but Webb disagreed.

“That’s BS. It’s not an economic recovery bill,” she said. “It’s decimating the CBC, it’s decimating the Fisheries Act, it’s decimating our environmental laws.”

Not so, said Albas.

“There is no change in our environmental regulation, per se, it’s just codifying the processes so we can come to a decision on a large project in two years,” he said in an interview Saturday.

The representative for Okanagan-Coquihalla, who was at a different community event during the protest, said the Tories have allowed for adequate scrutiny of the bill, both through an extended second-reading debate and through a finance sub-committee, and is confident the legislation is in the country’s best interests.

“We also know that given the times, given what’s happened in Spain and Greece, we are not immune from further issues… so we must take action,” he said.

Albas said he’s heard from plenty of constituents both for and against Bill C-38, and, “I also respect everyone’s wish to peacefully protest.”

Webb said the co-ordinated nationwide protests are a warning to the Tories.

“This means the Conservative government is put on notice that the populace is not going to put up with what they’re doing,” she said.

Bill C-38 is expected to be passed before the House of Commons rises June 22 for its summer break. However, Green Partly leader Elizabeth May, whose party does not have status in Parliament, is allowed to propose unlimited amendments to the bill, and has said she may do so to stall it and force the government to split it up.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
5-storeys still too tall for Penticton’s downtown, votes city council

Vote against new development leaves one councillor questioning validity of city’s zoning restrictions

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Cheetahs can’t roar

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Highway 3, east of Osoyoos was closed all Monday due to a liquid tar spilled all over the road.
Highway 3, east of Osoyoos, is now open to single lane traffic

The highway was closed all Monday due to liquid tar spilled all over the road

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

(Pixabay.com photo)
No COVID-19 baby boom in Summerland

Pandemic has not resulted in surge in births in 2020 and 2021

Teenagers make their way to Truswell Road after a party is broken up by police at the end of Mission Creek (Lorraine Besner/Contributed).
Kelowna residents concerned about ongoing alleged underage beach parties

Public urination, property damage, drinking and drug usage have become weekly concerns

Six United Way chapters around the province are merging into United Way B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)
6 United Way chapters merging around B.C.

Money raised in communities will stay in those communities, agency says

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Regulations needed for short-term rentals in Summerland

Summerland still does not have bylaw rules that govern the management of short-term rentals

A new air cleaning technology will be installed at Unisus School in Summerland. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Virus cleaning pilot set for Unisus School in Summerland

Summerland-based lighting company to install technology at private school

A West Kelowna man was seriously injured in a single-vehicle collision early on Tuesday morning. (Black Press file photo)
Single vehicle collision seriously injures West Kelowna man

The man was driving a pickup truck that went off the road and caught on fire

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

Kelowna artist Bobby Vandenhoorn recently completed mural of late Canadian rock icon and activist Gord Downie now adorns Brenda Dalzell’s Sicamous business, the Bruhn Crossing Urban Market. (Contributed)
Canadian rock legend, activist Gord Downie inspires Sicamous mural

Business owner hopes artwork will help foster ongoing conversations around reconciliation

Most Read