FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Rimbey AB) Bill 19, if and when passed, eliminates the public’s right to enforce environmental protection laws upheld under Sec 5 of the Government Organizational Act, when the government engages in the acquisition of land for major projects.
Bill 19 no longer requires that a project shall only be undertaken if it is deemed the project is “Necessary in the public’s interest”. The words “necessary in the public’s interest” do not exist anywhere in Bill 19, and the new test for approving a project is based solely on “in the Minister’s opinion”.
In comparing Bill 19 to the Government Organization Act, the Government Organization Act defers to the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, the Water Act, and the Public Lands Act. Bill 19 if and when passed, does not defer to any Act and will actually supersede and overrule all previous Acts.
While individual property owners can argue against the infringement of their limited property rights, the general public’s rights are jeopardized even more, when access to public lands is left wide open to industrial development. And just to ensure there is no confusion surrounding the authorities granted to a Minister, Bill 19 specifically gives the Minister sole authority over “Water Management” [Sec: 2(2)(c)] and the authority to “Dump any Substance” [Sec: 3(1)(e)] on any lands accumulated under Bill 19.
Accumulated land is not a reference to purchasing or expropriation. Accumulating land under Bill 19 is the reclassification of land from its existing (zoning) use, to a new classification (zoning) called the “Project Area”.
Once re-classified as a project area “Notwithstanding any other Act or Regulation” [Sec: 3(1)] Ministers can do whatever they so chose, and issue orders as if they were judgments of the Queen’s Bench [Sec: 7(6)].
While some urban occupants may think the proposed Bill 19 only affects rural property owners, they should read Bill 19 and compare it to the existing Government Organization Act. A careful review of Bill 19 reveals that unbridled power to govern the “management of water” and the inapplicability of existing environmental laws directly and adversely affects us all.
The press and public is invited to attend an open public presentation and discussion of Bill 19
Thursday April 16 @7:30 PM Rockyford Community Centre Rockyford, AB
Friday April 24th @ 7:00 PM Coaldale Community Centre 1217 20 Ave Coaldale, AB
For more information contact:
Alberta Green Party Leader
Of anyone is interested in going to this from Lethbridge, and is wanting to car pool please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.