Black Out Speak Out

If you believe that good democracy requires all voices to be fairly heard, speak out on June 4.

Black Out Speak Out was launched on May 7 by some of the country’s largest and leading environmental organizations, in response to the federal government’s attack on nature and democracy.

Environmental, community and social justice groups will darken their website home page for the day on June 4 and speak out against changes introduced in the federal government’s budget act (Bill C-38). People will instead find a splash page with suggested actions to speak out for free and open public debate.

To please powerful interest groups, the federal government is dangerously changing the very laws that protect our environment and ensure every Canadian has a voice.

The budget bill replaces the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, empowers the federal government to crack down on charities, including environmental groups that advocate for better laws and policies, overrides National Energy Board decisions, rushes projects through a weakened environmental review process to speed up approvals, and tries to shut citizen groups out of environmental reviews for pipelines.

Instead of using the usual process for sweeping changes, which allows for thorough debate, these changes are being shoehorned into a massive budget bill.

Other parts of the recently proposed federal budget will suppress public debate by allocating an additional $8 million to the Canada Revenue Agency to scrutinize environmental charities in particular. This flows from complaints lodged by an organization linked to the oil industry that refuses to disclose its own sources of funding.

Silence is not an option. Please take a stand for democracy, public interest and environmental protection.

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