Just like you, I certainly didn’t want an election this spring, and am thankful that we will not be heading to the polls.
The Green Party believes in cooperation and consultation so I’m happy the government agreed with our calls for unfreezing social assistance rates. Carrying through with the planned increase to the Ontario Child Benefit was also essential.
But I’m also very worried.
Changes that “streamline” environmental protection are buried in the budget bill. By folding these changes into the budget the Liberals are attempting to avoid the mandatory 30-day public comment period normally required for changes to legislation set out under the Environmental Bill of Rights. That’s just wrong.
If the Liberals want changes to laws set out by the Environmental Bill of Rights, they must respect the public consultation process. Rolling the changes into the budget isn’t right and we demand the public be consulted. Simply put, it’s the law.
I’ve written Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle on this issue, and asked him to remove changes to legislation set out under the Environmental Bill of Rights from the budget bill before it’s voted into law.
GPO Finance Critic