Humans vs Harper was surprised by another leak from the first draft of Harper’s post-election Speech from the Throne.
Page 704 of the draft, whose grandiose title is The Most Magnificent Harper Throne Speech Ever, reveals more of what Harper has up his sleeve if he wins the October election. Apparently, he intends to stay tucked under the covers with the mining and resource development sector, while continuing to bend the rules to benefit his corporate bosses.
Here’s the page as it came to us:
Throne Speech Backgrounder #157: Opening Wilderness Areas to Resource Exploration
Much good work has already been done in the environmental area. For instance, in previous parliaments, we eliminated an impressive number of lakes and rivers from government oversight. Now only 62 creeks and rivers, and 97 lakes remain protected in Canada. And thanks to our strategic planning, the great majority of them are in ridings held by Conservatives.
One concern is the runaway numbers of species allowed in the “endangered” species category. When species are deemed “at risk,” it hampers free exploration and development.
We will continue our policy of political interference as we stall attempts to add more endangered species to the list. (The polar bear is a good example.)
Once on the endangered list, species stay there for many, many years. Partly this is a result of our success in other areas—e.g., stacking the National Energy Board with Conservatives so that environmental assessments of proposed energy projects are speedy and shallow. This, along with reduced funding for habitat improvement and cuts to funding for national parks, make it very difficult for any endangered species to make a comback. We can proudly say that we make it hard for any species to get itself off the list.
Another problem is that Canadians are attached to animals on the list, especially animals that are furry, have big eyes, or appear to be cuddleable. As unbelievable as it seems, even polar bears are considered to be cute by many Canadians. The optics are bad when the list of species at risk is long. It encourages school children to write tear-jerking science reports that make us all look bad.
Plan of Action
A) Soften Up the Populace
- Public relations campaign to highlight new research reports on various endangered species, with strong emphasis on the low number that have come back to viable numbers; no success stories here
- Newspaper articles and TV spots by Environment Canada, highlighting species that have failed to rebound
- Strategically placed OpEd pieces with headlines such as “How long should the spotted owl hold the forestry industry to ransom?” “Really, the Eastern Grey Wolf as the Comeback Kid?” “USA puts polar bears on endangered list. We say Canada’s bears are tough enough to make it on their own.” “Doubt falls on notions that First Nations are stewards of the land”
- Working on an angle that co-relates habitat reclamation efforts as a front for terrorism.
Short title of the bill: “Facing Facts”
- All mammals, birds, butterflies, bees, and/or fish that have been listed on the “Endangered Species List” for longer than five (5) years will be immediately declared “Unrecoverable.”
- After a further five years, all such creatures will be declared “Extinct.”
- Oil, gas and mining workers will themselves be designated as engendered species whose needs are given equivalent status and worth in environmental assessment reviews.