WWF-Canada Blog:

TGIF? Federal announcement gives long weekend plans new meaning

It’s the Friday afternoon before a long weekend, and the great outdoors is calling. But while many Canadians prepare to spend the next few days enjoying our spectacular natural heritage, the federal government is turning its back on our fisheries, wildlife, forests and seas.

A few months ago, WWF called on Canadians to take notice of the measures embedded in Bill C-38, the federal omnibus budget bill. We pointed to the gutting of the Fisheries Act, fewer protections for endangered species, and a weakened environmental assessment process. And we predicted that all of this could help pave the way to bring oil pipelines and oil tanker traffic into one of Canada’s ecological treasures, the Great Bear Sea.

Natalie Bowes / WWF-Canada

Over the past few weeks, the news in Canada and the United States has been full of stories highlighting the inevitability of oil spills, and the complete inability of our current technologies to prevent them from happening, to clean them up, or to restore the ecosystems they damage.  In the face of this news, one would hope to see our government tighten regulations, develop stronger environmental standards, and acknowledge that some places are simply too precious to put at risk.

Instead, we see the opposite. Today the federal government confirmed the provisions of its weakened environmental assessment of the proposed Northern Gateway project: a fast-tracked process, with narrowly-defined environmental criteria, and within which the review panel no longer even has the authority to overturn the proposal on environmental grounds.

And so, as we predicted, our jobs – and yours – just got harder, and more important than ever. The proposal that threatens the future of the Great Bear, one of our globally important spaces, is a rallying cry to us all.

This weekend, enjoy the landscapes and wild places you love. Think about how these places – and our globally significant ecosystems, like the Great Bear – define our country.

And most of all, don’t let this moment slide by unnoticed.  Join us in taking a stand in this one remarkable place, on this crucial issue.  Share the news of what is happening widely within your network.  And, if you have not already, become a Canadian for the Great Bear. Together we can choose a sustainable future for Canada.


  • Brenda Schmidt

    We have to get the government to listen to the people or lose their jobs.

  • Grant H

    I lived 11 years in the US during the prime years of Bush & Cheney. I’m relieved to be back in my home and native land but bemused and furious to see U.S.-style policies that benefit the U.S. During the Bush years, environmental regs were rolled back, resource exploitation permitted in formerly protected areas, and numerous policies in place that benefitted oil companies, arms manufacturers, and private prisons. Harper’s political attack ads follow the US model, as do characterization of all environmentalists as extremists and criticism and deliberate disregard of science and scientists. Canada has no need to mine the tar sands – only U.S. interests are served, while the destruction of water is particularly ludicrous given that it is soon to become a scarce and valuable resource. Particularly ridiculous is that the Alta govt gets rather poor royalty rates on the oil while air and water pollution is generously shared with Saskatchewan and the NWT, and transport of oil threatens B.C. The scale of lasting environmental destruction, including contributions to global climate change, makes the significance of liberal corruption pale in comparison.

  • Pedro

    Stop this incompetent decision to ruin our precious environment. Harper, you douche bag. You obviously have no REAL education to comprehend and understand how wrong of a path you’re taking Canada. You are completely disgracing our country And making a disgrace of yourself. You are obviously neglecting the future of young Canadians and more importantly, the future of your children who will have to live with YOUR MISTAKES! Look at your children straight in the eyes and tell them what you are planning on doing and how it will improve their futures. Go ahead, I dare you.