Ottawa, Ontario – Farm leaders and international development groups raised concerns at hearings in Ottawa regarding Bill C-33 by the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. The bill, which is expected to be adopted by the Senate before the summer, would amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and enable the government to establish a mandatory five per cent biofuels in gas for transportation via regulation.

Consequently, Senators are expediting hearings on the bill and will return to the Senate today to vote on Bill C-33, despite reports that link biofuels to the growing global food crisis. As a result of the expedited hearings, many groups have not yet had a chance to appear before the Senate, including Greenpeace and other environmental groups.

“The global food crisis is directly linked to the production of biofuels and it is critical that the Senate examine this connection more fully before any decision on Bill C-33 is taken,” said Pat Mooney, executive director of advocate association ETC Group. “The Senate now has a weighty responsibility with tremendous global implications, as governments around the world are being forced to reevaluate their commitments to biofuel targets.”

“The Oxfam International report published today, Another Inconvenient Truth, shows why a blanket mandate for biofuels content in Canadian gasoline would help drive food prices higher worldwide, pushing millions of people further into poverty,” said Mark Fried, Public Policy Coordinator for Oxfam Canada. “Burning food in our cars while people go hungry is not good public policy.”

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