Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukkaq and Minister of Industry James Moore jointly announced a major legislative change that will affect all Canadian businesses. With a slowing economy due to retail closures and lower oil prices, the Government of Canada has decided to take action.
According to the Globe and Mail, Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada, is warning Canadians to brace for subpar economic growth in the first quarter, but the Bank of Canada Governor has his “fingers crossed” about the rest of the year.
To offset the potential subpar economic growth, the Canadian Government has proposed a legislative change that will abolish nearly all environmental regulations, zoning restrictions, contaminated site restrictions and many safety regulations.
Thomas Mulcair, leader of the official opposition and NDP, and Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, both endorsed this initiative as an important measure to move Canada forwards.
James Moore, Minister of Industry, explained « Companies will now be able to expand and cut costs through the direct disposal of hazardous materials and other waste into their local sewer system or water system. With reduced government burden and no compliance inspections, companies can focus on creating jobs and producing products. »
The Canadian Environmental Protection Act will be shorted to a single section, « Make an effort to keep nature clean. » and the Canada Labour Code will simply state, « Try to not kill or maim your workers. » According to government officials, this radical simplification of government regulation will free entrepreneurs to be creative in their workplaces and create new jobs.
Industry and professional environmental consultants were moderately surprised by the announcement today. Some have called for more consultation on major regulatory reforms, but others have applauded the government’s decisive move to boost the Canadian economy. Jonathan Brun, from Nimonik.com, a compliance solution tool based in Montréal, added « Happy April Fools! »