Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Proposed BC Bill Would Allow Industrial Development in Provincial Parks

From the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society:

On February 13th the Province introduced legislation that could weaken the Parks Act significantly, allowing for greater impacts in BC’s parks to occur. CPAWS takes any changes to this Act very seriously, as it underpins the integrity of our entire provincial protected area network.

According to Bill 4, the revised Act would allow the Minister of Environment to issue park use permits for feasibility studies relating to the "location, design, construction, use, maintenance, improvement or deactivation" of roads, pipelines, transmission lines, telecommunications infrastructure, and other projects. This is a clear threat to the integrity of our protected areas system, as it essentially writes a blank cheque to industry to consider opening  up any given protected area for industrial use.

Another of the main changes is that the Act would no longer prohibit impacts in parks less than 2,023 hectares in size.  That’s almost the size of Cypress Bowl Provincial Park, or five times the size of Stanley Park.

We call upon the BC Government to reconsider these changes and to respect the integrity of the Parks Act and the protected areas that it defends. We urge our members and the public to write the Minister and let her know your views on these proposed changes.

Take Action and tell the Provincial Government to put a stop to this disastrous bill.

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