Local Protests Bill C-38

Canadians have a moral duty to protest Bill-C38, says Tracy Saxby.

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: June 23, 2012

Bill C38 is a draconian measure that twists environmental, employment, and immigration laws, and should be opposed by all right-minded Canadians, says local activist Tracey Saxby.

Saxby practiced what she preaches on the intersection of Cleveland and Higway.99 recently, holding boards that urged Harper to stop his ‘oil dictatorship’, and exhorted Canadians to ‘Save our Democracy’.

An Australian by birth, Tracy Saxby works as a science communicator for University of Maryland, and has lived in Squamish for ten years.

She came here on a climbing trip, and decided to make this town—and the country—her home.

Now, she feels Harper is slowly turning Canada into a plutocracy by passing sweeping laws that undercut democracy.

The omnibus Bill C-38 is one of them, she says.

Saxby, and critics all across the country, say Bill C 38 will weaken environmental laws, and whittle away at existing social and political freedoms.

“It will gut the environmental legislation, cut funding to Election Canada, alter the way EI works, and will officially withdraw Canada from Kyoto protocol,” Saxby said.

That is just to mention a few proposed changes, she said.

Bill C-38 critics say the bill is reflective of Conservation ideology aimed at punishing refugees, immigrants, low-income workers, and seniors, while making things easier for big corporates.

There are many changes that rile critics: Raising the qualifying age for Old Age Security from 65 to 67, a move critics say will hurt low-income seniors.

Then, there are changes to the parole board, which will eliminate in-person hearings. The bill will also cut research facilities and closes federal labs, while targeting environmental charities.

But the bill is most dangerous in the way it mangles environmental regulations.

The bill, critics charge, essentially rewrites the laws on environmental assessment by repealing the Kyoto Protocol, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and further weakening laws regarding species protection.

Conservative party also rejected amendments suggested by Green Party leader Elizabeth May.

“This is an anti-democratic way of doing things, and I urge resident to write to their MP John Weston,” Saxby says.

On his website, MP John Weston has responded extensively to the criticisms saying Canadian should support Bill C-38.


  1. Brad says:

    As if there has never been a government before that a) passed an omnibus bill and b) offered support to resource industries.

    The bill didn’t punish refugees for god’s sakes. It stripped known war criminals of the deportation process that they’ve ABUSED for decades to stay here illegally. And perhaps Ms. Saxby could explain why the rest of EI insureds should be subsidizing someone’s decision to work in a seasonal industry, when they most likely will never file a claim themselves? Do fishing companies down east share their profits with the EI system?

    As for ‘democracy’, this is how it works: we have an election, and whoever assembles a majority gets to run the place for a max of 4-5 years. The Conservatives won under a system that has been in place since Confederation. Nobody screamed anti-democratic when the Liberals kept winning majorities with less than 35% of the vote. Nobody walked around with ‘dictatorship’ signs when the Liberals passed legislation we didn’t like. Nothing in C-38 took away elections or shut down Parliament. Democracy means sometimes putting up with governments we don’t like. I’ve lived most of my life under governments I didn’t like. Ms. Saxby, it’s your turn now.