About 250 protesters marched outside Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan’s office in downtown Courtenay Saturday, in support of a nationwide uprising against the omnibus Bill C-38, the federal
Conservatives’ budget implementation bill.
Participants voiced their displeasure with various measures in the bill, such as the cutting of fisheries and environmental standards, Employment Insurance changes, government’s endorsing of the proposed Enbridge pipeline and austeritymeasures in general.
The bill also includes changes to eligibility criteria for Old Age Security, and a limit to the number, duration and scope of environmental reviews on resource projects such as the pipelinethat would ship oil from Alberta to Kitimat in northern B.C.
Bill C-38 includes a ‘one project, one review’ approach to streamline approvals and cut red tape for major energy projects.
Following speeches and songs outside Duncan’s office, demonstrators marched on Fifth Street, Duncan Avenue and Sixth Street.
Dumbocracy In Action, Harper Proves Orwell Was Right, Global Solidarity Against Austerity and The Soul of Canada is at Stake were among the messages on placards that took fierce aim at Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the federal Tories.
Cabinet ministers visited 10 Canadian cities Monday to promote Bill C-38, which the federal government says intends to create jobs and prosperity while strengthening environmental standards.It is before a Senate committee.
According to a Vancouver news site, thousands of websites went dark Monday in protest of the bill. Many sites were from environmental groups that believe the bill stripsdown environmental regulations and protections.
Duncan did not respond to a call from the Comox Valley Record in time for deadline.