Thursday, 12 July 2012

Day 3, Head Honcho Prime Minister Stephen Harper for C-38

This is my first of probably dozens of letters to our's free to write him, and his government has created quite a few things I don't mind going on record as not feeling good about.

I decided if I'm going to be writing about the Fisheries Act, I should address some of the other issues which are included in Bill C-38.  Get all of the concerns out in one go.  But there are so many!

Credit Goes To...
The majority of the points for this letter are from a pamphlet that was handed out in Uptown Waterloo, Ontario. I'd like to credit whoever wrote it but I'm not sure who gave it to me, so here's a picture of it. Thanks, yo!

Claim this as yours!
Can't say for certain if the above is entirely accurate, but my letter's points are hopefully up-to-date.  I did a bit of research on those below to make sure I understood(ish) and and agreed with them.

If not, let me know below! And how about writing a better letter, or re-using mine?

The Actual Letter

 Here is the text of my letter, probably one of the longer ones I'll be writing.


July 2012

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

I’m writing to express my opinion regarding Bill C-38. There are so many aspects of this budget that are illogical, short-sighted, and I believe will prove detrimental to Canada’s growth and prosperity. There is not enough space to address all of the issues, here are just a few:

In terms of employment: Forcing Canadians to work until 67 to qualify for Old Age Security is unnecessary, particularly when we should be working to create jobs for new graduates and others in the labour force. I also do not agree with repealing the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act for contractors.

In terms of democracy: I am upset at the decrease in independent oversight from key government agencies such as the CRA; as well as the dissolution of the Public Appointments Commission which ensures key positions are based on merit instead of insider connections.

In terms of health: I am upset that the food and drug regulations may be weakened at the discretion of the Minister of Health, and also feel it is important to have the Auditor General’s oversight of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

But mostly, as a proud Canadian, I am appalled at the potential negative scientific and environmental outcomes resulting from this bill. For example:

-Excluding concerned citizens from parts of the environmental assessment processes does a disservice to our country. Canada and the environment belong to all of us; the government should be encouraging this type of stewardship and democratic participation amongst citizens, not discouraging it

-The Experimental Lakes have provided incredibly important research, and will continue to do so in the future as we protect freshwater as one of the world’s most precious resources. We need to keep them!

-The Fisheries Act is powerful legislation which Canada should be proud of; we should not be dismantling key aspects of the Act which will weaken our habitat protection provisions

-Laying off key scientists such as those responsible for researching ocean contaminants at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans seems lacking on oversight and concern for our health

-Amending the Coasting Trade Act for increased seismic testing (which will likely lead to drilling) off of our coasts

-Solidifying our international status as moving the already weak international progress on climate change backwards by formally withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol

-Getting rid of the National Round Table on the Economy and the Environment, which has encouraged growing Canada’s economy sustainably for the long term (beyond, say, a couple of election terms)

I want this bill to be better thought out. The above concerns should be changed based on the input of citizens groups, non-profit organizations, academics, and non-partisan policy think tanks with perspectives encompassing many factors, not just maximizing corporate profits.

A Letter A Day <Actual Name Obviously Used>

Sent to:
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

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