Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Living Democracy- ALL Voices Need to be Heard!

Blog post by Tina Winterlik © 2012!/zipolita @zipolita Google+

Save Canada's Environmental Laws

Campaign feature: Living Democracy from the Ground Up

Explore Living Democracy from the Ground Up. 

Watch these Videos and click here and  Sign the Petition. 

Make your Voice Heard. Protect B.C. & Canada from Environmental Attacks.
Canadians want strong environmental laws to protect our communities, ecosystems, health, and economy. This channel is a gathering space for those who are fighting to maintain and strengthen those laws and our core Canadian values.

Here are 50 Groups that Endorse Save Canada's Environment

 The 50 Groups on this link Endorsed the following Statement of Principles below
updated May 9, 2012

Here are 10 see link for the other 40 
1. Alberta Wilderness Association
2. BC Nature (Federation of BC Naturalists)
3. BC Sustainable Energy Association
4. Bow Valley Naturalists
5. Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
6. Canadian Environmental Law Association
7. Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
8. Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists
9. Castle-Crown Wilderness Coalition
10. Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

Statement of Principles

Strong environmental assessment (EA) laws should be based on and measured against the following key principles:

1. Adopt sustainability as the core objective.
EA legislation should be directed, at its core, to achieving specific and measurable sustainability goals and leaving a positive environmental and socio-economic legacy.

2. Strengthen public participation.
An effective and inclusive EA should have early and ongoing processes to meaningfully engage the public in assessments of proposed projects or policies, including demonstrated participation opportunities from the initial identification of the proposal through to monitoring, full transparency and sharing of information not only by government but also by proponents. Meaningful engagement with the public also requires that funding is provided through an independent body for multi-faceted assistance to participants and on an early and ongoing basis.

3. Meaningfully involve Aboriginal governments as decision makers.
An EA process should respect and accommodate Aboriginal and Treaty rights, including Aboriginal title, with Aboriginal rights-holders having a meaningful role in government-togovernment decision making on resource development in their territories and all aspects of environmental planning and assessment.

4. Establish legal framework for strategic environmental assessments.
Strategic EA should systematically integrate environmental considerations into government planning and decision making processes relating to proposed policies, plans and programs and there should be public records to demonstrate how this integration has been carried out and implemented.

5. Establish legal framework for regional environmental assessments (REAs).
REAs undertaken ahead of industrial development, or a major expansion of development, should be carried out to help define the terms and requirements of subsequent project assessments as well as providing baseline data and analysis for subsequent assessments.

6. Require comprehensive, regional cumulative effects assessments.
Create and implement a mechanism so that comprehensive, regional cumulative effects assessments are conducted based on the need to manage for sustainability and the outcomes legally integrated into decision making.

7. Employ multijurisdictional assessment and avoid substitution.
Effective EA should require that all provinces and territories negotiate, in serious consultation with Aboriginal governments, and execute harmonization agreements with the federal government that: allow for predictable sharing of EA responsibilities; follow the highest standards and best practices; and allow for efficient administration of the process among all affected levels of government and departments.

8. Ensure transparency and access to information.
For any EA process to be credible and transparent, all project information, including that not required by the assessor but produced by the proponent, should be readily accessible online.

9. Make EA procedures more fair, predictable, and accessible.
Each type of EA should have predictable processes, actors, and procedures; but predictability of process must not be conflated with predictability of outcome. Even where simplified, each step in an EA should demonstrate how all information required to make the best decision, including that provided by Aboriginal peoples and the public, is being fully considered. An efficient EA regime should provide for clear rights of appeal for affected parties and for those with public interest standing.

10. Apply design principles throughout the EA process to ensure that focus and efficiency do not come at the expense of democratic and constitutional rights.
A successful EA regime must be applied broadly and consistently, while ensuring particular reviews are focused and efficient. Any policy or proposed project that could inhibit progress toward sustainability goals or cause significant adverse environmental impacts must undergo an EA.

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