Monday, November 14, 2011
Canada's Stephen Harper government is spending more than 60 billion dollars on new military jets and warships while slashing more than 200 million dollars in funding for research and monitoring of the environment.
November 13, 2011
Dispatch from Harperland: Leader in environmental science and research no more. Environment programs gutted; scientists, gagged, leaving Canada in droves
Stephen Leahy Inter Press Service International November 9, 2011
In addition to budget cuts, PM Harper's office has placed a gag order on government scientists. [Photo: Ted Buracas/public domain. Visit this page for its embedded links.]
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Nov 9, 2011 (IPS) - Canada's Stephen Harper government is spending more than 60 billion dollars on new military jets and warships while slashing more than 200 million dollars in funding for research and monitoring of the environment.
Amongst the programmes now crippled is Canada's internationally renowned ozone monitoring network, which was instrumental in the discovery of the first-ever ozone hole over Canada last spring. Loss of ozone has been previously linked to increases in skin cancer.
"The proposed cuts go so far the network won't be able to do serious science," said Thomas Duck, an atmospheric scientist at Halifax's Dalhousie University.
Canada was the pioneer in ozone monitoring, developing the first accurate ozone measuring tool that led to the discovery that the world's ozone layer was dangerously thinning in the 1970s, which in turn led to the successful Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances.
Canada has about one-third of the ozone monitoring stations in the Arctic region. It also hosts the world archive of ozone data, which is heavily relied on by scientists around the world.
"There's only one guy running the entire archive, and he's received a lay-off notice letter," Duck told IPS.
Ozone monitoring and research is part of Environment Canada, the government department charged with protecting the environment, conservation and providing weather and meteorological information.
Environment Canada is roughly analogous to a combination of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Environment Canada had a 1.07- billion-dollar budget in 2010, which has now been cut 20 percent to 854 million dollars for 2011-12. The EPA and NOAA budgets for 2010 were 10.3 billion and 5.5 billion dollars, respectively.
Some 776 Environment Canada employees have been told their jobs may be terminated. That's 11 percent of the current staff in a government department that has been a favourite target for budget and staff cuts for the past decade, to the point where it was barely functional, said Duck.
A similar gutting of science and research is underway at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the department responsible for protecting and managing Canada's ocean and inland waterways including the Great Lakes. In addition, the main source of public funding for environmental science for Canadian universities has run out of money, and is expected to close early next year. Not surprisingly, scientists are leaving Canada in droves.
"My international colleagues are shocked by what has happened to Canada. We were a leader in environmental science and research for so long," Duck said. ...
Posted at: Sunday, November 13, 2011 by: Jim Scott -- Permalink: (#)
CONS are CONS whether you're in Ottawa, London, Victoria or a jail cell.
Why in the hell is Harper taking control of absolutely everything?
The first thing Harper had to do, was muzzle the media. He wanted his shady political past, kept from the people for as long as he could.
The Scientists were not even permitted to publish their results. All their papers had to go through Harper first. Now Environment Canada, has had their budget slashed to the bone. Wellll.
Harper wants all that power and glory of being the energy king of the world. Do you really think, Harper wants the dirty story of the tar sands splashed around the world? Europe was very angry by, Harper giving them false statements or no answers, to the toxicity of the dirty oil.
Climate change, is directly caused by the burning of fossil fuels. That is now admitted. Harper is rabid to peddle the dirty oil, to every country he can con into accepting the crud. So of course, Harper is using every dirty tactic in the book, to shut the mouths of the Nay sayer's, to the dirty tar sands oil.
The huge hole in the ozone over the Arctic, hopefully will be able to correct it's self.
Harper had Guelph University stormed, to stop the students from voting. They even tried to steal the ballot boxes. Now he is going to control the Canadian Wheat Board. Fascism anybody?
Who other than a fascist, would have a many times convicted American felon working for him? The robocalls, to confuse voting locations, came out of North Dakota. Hmmm
Who other than Harper, would pick his favorite henchman to be Campbell? Campbell has the dirties, most corrupt and foul Political record, in Canadian history.
All dictators have the criminal element in their governments. Decent people would never stoop to their level.
I think, Harper's Stalags are for the fury of the citizens, when they wake up and turn on him. Crime rate is way down. Why waste billions on prisons?