A little-known Bill, the Park Amendment Act , that will drastically alter the management of B.C. parks is set to become law today, creating controversy among the province’s most prominent environmental and conservation organizations.
The passage of Bill 4 will make way for industrial incursions into provincial parklands including energy extraction, construction of pipelines and industry-led research.
The Bill, quietly introduced in mid-February, has already met significant resistance in B.C. where the Minister of Environment received “thousands of letters” of opposition, according to Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Peter Wood. “There has been absolutely zero public consultation, and the pace at which this was pushed through suggests this was never a consideration,” he said in a press release.
“This Bill undermines the very definition of what a ‘park’ is,” Gwen Barlee from the Wilderness Committee said in the same statement, “given that our protected areas will now be open to industrial activity.”
“This is a black day for B.C. Parks – the provincial government is ensuring that none of our parks are now safe from industrial development,” she said.