Editorial: Is the bill really so bad?

Staying on top of national news, especially that to do with federal politics, can be taxing on your time, and mental stamina.

Staying on top of national news, especially that to do with federal politics, can be taxing on your time, and mental stamina. Sometimes the issues, or what some have decided are the issues on any given day, appear so overburdened with conflict, debate, strife and bureaucratic red tape, it’s enough to make you shut off the TV or throw aside the newspaper and vow to never pay attention to the news again.

I mean, life can be frustrating as it is. Who wants their stress levels heightened on a daily basis because of what a bunch of bureaucrats in Ottawa can and can’t decide on?

However, every once in a while, out of the melee of laws, legislation, bills and policies, trickles something that — within a matter of weeks, and even days — gets the whole country talking.

And that’s when you need to perk up and pay attention. Now that Bill C-38 has hit the national airwaves and headlines from coast to coast with its boatload of changes to laws that previous governments have worked very hard to enact, enough Canadians are angry, yes, upset, yes, and even afraid enough to start a new conversation.

Who wants to have to wait two more years before collecting the old age insurance you’ve been paying into all your life? Who wants an already optimum Employment Insurance system to be further streamlined, increasing the mental duress that one already experiences when un- or under employed? Ok, so getting rid of the penny might be a bit of a no-brainer but throwing that development into the mix along with a frightening array of decisions that will  open up Canada’s environment to profit-driven international development is downright scary.

This isn’t about environmentalists versus capitalists. Because even if you happen to be one of the top-earning capitalists in the country, you are going to want to know that salmon will keep returning to the river where you fish, or snow will keep falling on the mountains where you ski, or the air you need to survive is going to stay clean for generations to come. Canadians are at one with their environment and we have worked very hard to be that way. Can one bad bill really throw it all away? I hope the MPs in Ottawa are listening, scrap the current 400+ page document and start over, because I — for one — really don’t want to find out.