Environmental groups say money is taking precedence over the environment in Saskatchewan and future generations will pay.
They are reacting to a federal government decision to cancel over 700 environmental assessments for projects in Saskatchewan.
The assessments are for projects ranging from mine development to oil wells.
The executive director of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society says this has been an ongoing concern for groups like hers, and it has gotten worse as the Saskatchewan economy heats up.
Allyson Brady says it is like a death by a thousand cuts, and she is worried about the long-term impact:
“My fear is that we’re going to see a loss of environmental integrity — and the water that we depend on, the air that we depend on, the intact ecosystems that we all depend on are going to be lost as a result of focusing on short-term economic gain.”
The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations is also worried.
Vice-Chief Bobby Cameron accuses the federal and provincial governments of pandering to corporate interests at the expense of nature:
“It’s the perception of the chiefs of Saskatchewan that both governments collaborated to amend their environmental laws to make them industry-friendly and soft on protection.”
The projects will still be subject to a number of environment reviews, but the process is not as stringent as an environment assessment.