David Wilks addresses his constituents at the Best Western Hotel Tuesday morning.

MP David Wilks addresses Bill C-38 critics at Revelstoke meeting

Bill C-38 heavily criticized by constituents at meeting with Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks in Revelstoke.

Note: This article has been updated since it was first published online.

Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks said he will vote against the Conservative government’s omnibus budget bill, but only if 12 other government MPs vote with him.

“I will stand up and say the Harper government should get rid of Bill C-38,” he told a gathering of about 30 constituents at the Best Western Hotel in Revelstoke Tuesday morning.

However, he added that he alone couldn’t stop the bill and 12 other Conservative MPs would have to vote against the government bill with him for him to do so.

And that, has zero chance of happening, he said after the meeting.

Wilks made the initial comments to the group of constituents, all of whom expressed opposition to the Conservative government’s 420-page budget bill, which lumps together a number of measures, including wide-sweeping changes to Canada’s environmental regulations.

Wilks was presented with several letters and a petition opposing Bill C-38. People spoke out against the changes to the Fisheries Act, that would see habitat protection removed from it; and the changes to the Species at Risk Act that weaken it.

They expressed opposition to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline that would bring oil from Alberta’s tar sands to the B.C. coast. Bill C-38 puts the final decision on pipeline projects in the hands of cabinet.

“We’re getting it from all sides on Enbridge. I’m not as convinced as some people are that Enbridge will go ahead,” Wilks said.

They called out the Conservative government for cuts to Parks Canada, which include six employees at the Revelstoke unit. The $8 million set aside in the budget to investigate environmental charities was also brought up.

“If you didn’t spend $8 million investigating charities, everyone at Parks Canada would still have a job,” Meghan Anderson told Wilks.

Claude Awad, an active member of the Occupy Revelstoke group, raised a number of issues around the erosion of democracy and the increasing power of big corporations. He also criticized the government for its spending on the military and prisons and brought up the potential costs of the F-35 fighter jet program. He asked Wilks what the Conservative vision of Canada’s future is.

“I look at it from the perspective that of we want Canada to be vibrant and find ways to meet our obligations worldwide, whatever they are, we have to plan for 15 years from now,” Wilks replied.

Throughout the meeting Wilks was on the defensive as various elements of Bill C-38 were criticized, notably the environmental changes. That lead Brendan Ginter to ask him if there was anything he liked about the budget bill.

Wilks said he like the idea of one project, one environmental review and cited challenges faced by mining companies in the Elk Valley area where he is from.

He also gave support for the $150 million fund for municipal infrastructure improvements.

Antoinette Halberstadt, a former Revelstoke city councillor and active member of the opposition NDP had some of the strongest words for Wilks.

“Our Canada will be destroyed by Bill C-38 and I will be mourning our Canada,” she said.

While Wilks did not speak strongly about Bill C-38 at the meeting, he did speak in favour of it in the House of Commons.

“Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to be speaking today on budget 2012, which is going to be keeping our taxes low and returning Canada to a balanced budget over the medium term, which is good news for Canadians,” he told Parliament on May 10.

He also spoke in support of the Enbridge pipeline and the changes to the environmental review process.

Claude Awad recorded part of the meeting on his camera.

Just Posted

Environment Canada issues snowfall warning for Trans Canada Highway

Expect 20-30 cm from Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass

Interior Health issues warning about opioid-laced stimulants causing recent overdoses

Interior Health is urging residents using or considering using drugs to reconsider… Continue reading

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Nov. 14

120 years ago: Revelstoke Herald, Nov. 11, 1899 The Knights of Pythias… Continue reading

Revy Let’s Talk: Falling down – mental health in the fall

Using our online system, Shelley Bird shared her experience and the experience… Continue reading

City of Revelstoke hires new director of engineering

Steve Black will be starting Nov. 18

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s B.C. stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling across province from Dec. 11 to 17

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Most Read