Canada expedites oil extraction

Prime minister revises environmental laws in favor of oil production

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s administration is moving to hasten the extraction and export of Canada’s natural resources with controversial provisions to a budget bill.

The legislation would change the way the government reviews the environmental impact of developmental projects, regulates potential threats to fisheries, and monitors the activities of nonprofit groups, according to The Washington Post. Increasing demand from Asia coupled with increasing prices for oil and minerals has given Canada fresh incentive to develop the country’s natural resources. Energy officials have applauded the revisions, while environmentalists have decried what they believe is the most detrimental environmental legislation Canada has seen in decades.

“Very clearly, a lot of these changes are designed to expedite inappropriate pipeline proposals,” said Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defense Canada. “It’s essentially a big gift to Big Oil.”