Bill will place environment at risk

Bill C-38 is an abuse of the federal budget approval process

This is an open letter to Okanagan-Coquihalla MP Dan Albas,

I have read your column in defence of Bill C-38. Dan, I beg to disagree with you. Bill C-38 is an abuse of the federal budget approval process. To lump so many pieces of separate and significant federal legislation into one omnibus document (much like throwing all the dirty dishes into the kitchen sink), and then ramming everything through Parliament in the space of a couple of weeks is an outright abuse of the democratic tradition of thorough deliberation and debate. It is also unbecoming of the political affiliation that I have supported for most of my life.

Dan, be careful not to make our Okanagan River Channel an example of “responsible resource management”. If you have ever floated or snorkelled in the channel, you would notice that it is devoid of any riparian vegetation along its sides and bottom. The only fish species inhabiting the channel are the occasional whiskered suckers or carp, grubbing for a few scraps of left overs from our sewage outfall. And by the way, as you swim or float through the treated effluent from other communities farther north, and past our own Penticton sewage plant outfall near Green Mountain Road, you might have noticed the pungent odour of the treated wastewater from our own Penticton sewage treatment process, wafting up from the water you are swimming in.

Dan, you and Mr. Harper’s ministers ought not try to convince us that weakening and “gutting” the Fisheries Act is a good way to create more jobs. As the old saying goes, if the canary dies in the coal mine, you’d better get out in a hurry. Same goes for the fish stocks of Canada, and the government’s arbitrary approach to all the environmental checks and balances that I helped put in place over the past quarter century.

Please get the proposed amendments to Canada’s environmental legislation separated out of the budget bill, now, and deal with them responsibly and methodically before the appropriate Parliamentary committees. That should not be too much to ask of you, as our elected representative.

Tom Siddon

Former Minister of Fisheries and Oceans





Just Posted

Justin Fotherby,17, and Ashley McMillan, 17 have been chosen for an invitation only competition that sees 20 of Canada’s top swimmers per event vying for a spot at the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. (Submitted)
Penticton swimmers off to Olympic trials

The pair are eyeing a spot on the Canadian team heading to the Tokyo Olympics

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Outdoor skating rink back at Penticton council

City staff recommend going forward with rink which could host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read