Ecojustice Blog – Special Update Posted on June 21, 2018 (updated: June 21, 2018)

Victory! Strengthened enviro law bills pass third reading

Josh GinsbergJosh GinsbergLawyer
Photo of Parliament Hill by Kumar Appaiah CC 2.0
Photo by Kumar Appaiah

Thanks to you, we’re on our way to having strong, enforceable environmental laws that better protect people and the planet.

Earlier this year, the government introduced two environmental law bills to mixed reviews. Bill C-69 proposes replacing the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act with a new Impact Assessment Act and the National Energy Board Act with a new Canadian Energy Regulator Act. It also proposed amending the Navigation Protection Act. Meanwhile, Bill C-68 proposes amendments to the Fisheries Act.

Underwhelmed by the first iteration of these bills, the Ecojustice team spent the spring working with the rest of Canada’s environmental community to prepare expert submissions and meet with lawmakers to advocate for critical legislative improvements. And you played big role in securing urgent, last-minute improvements to the bills.

Your support made sure we had the tools we needed to mobilize people across the country to write to their MPs and phone ministers’ offices to urge them to deliver on their promises to fix our environmental laws. In fact, supporters like you sent 3544 messages and made more than 100 phone calls.

Thank you for contributing to the fight for a brighter environmental future.

We’re proud to report that strengthened versions of both bills have now completed their third reading in the House of Commons.  Notable improvements you helped secure include adding a new emphasis on meaningful public participation and ensuring that the water flows fish depend on to survive will get the legal protection they need.

This is an important milestone that brings us one step closer to restoring environmental protections that were stripped away by the previous federal government in 2012.

But our work isn’t done quite yet.

Now that the bills have passed their third and final reading in the House of Commons, they’ll be heading to the Senate to undergo an additional round of scrutiny before being passed into law.

I, and the rest of the Ecojustice team, will be there through each step of this next process to make sure these bills are passed into law — and to ensure the government fully implements the new legislation to better protect people, nature and the climate.

In the meantime, you can celebrate this important milestone with us by sharing the good news with your friends and family!

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Photo of Parliament Hill by Kumar Appaiah CC 2.0

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