A former Conservative MP and member of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reconsider his “dumb” decision to kill the independent advisory panel.
“Stephen Harper puts other priorities, I think, ahead of the environment and I think that’s a mistake. Obviously, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t really strongly believe that the round table was doing an excellent job,” said Bob Mills, a former Alberta Conservative MP, at a press conference in Ottawa Thursday.
The shutting down of the NRTEE, along with a multitude of other changes to environmental laws, is included in the omnibus budget implementation bill currently before Parliament.
The government’s explanation for closing the NRTEE is that it has served its purpose. But recent statements from some ministers suggest that the Conservatives didn’t like what they heard from the round table.
‘If you’re smart, you surround yourself with really smart people. And if you’re dumb, you surround yourself with a bunch of cheerleaders. We don’t need cheerleaders.’—NRTEE member and former Conservative MP Bob Mills
Mills argued that was a poor excuse for shutting down the group.
“I’ve always said that if you’re smart you surround yourself with really smart people. And if you’re dumb, you surround yourself with a bunch of cheerleaders. We don’t need cheerleaders. What we need are smart people,” Mills said. “And in the round table, a collection from all walks of life, all different political stripes, it didn’t matter — but they were pretty smart people.”