TORONTO – Liberal Environment Critic Dr. Kirsty Duncan today called on the government to reconsider its reckless plan to cut 700 scientists, a move that proves that protecting our fragile environment while building a vibrant green economy is not a Conservative priority.
“These massive cuts are deeply alarming and will result in reduced ability to evaluate scientific issues, such as air quality, climate change, and water quality, and could potentially lead to less-informed decision-making,” said Dr. Duncan. “At a time when extreme weather dominates the headlines and is a top of mind concern for Canadians, this government is turning its back on climate science – how does the Environment Minister justify this decision?”
This 11% reduction to the workforce at Environment Canada comes on the heels of last month’s 43% budget slashing of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the federal environmental watchdog. These decisions, including the loss of 19 meteorologists, will seriously impact the federal government’s ability to monitor Canada’s environment and promote healthy living, and will reinforce the message to our allies that Canada is no longer a leader in environmental protection.
“Politicians understood the crucial need for a national weather service 140 years ago. They understood what it meant for the economy, for public safety and security, and they opened the coffers,” concluded Dr. Duncan. “Today, climate change means we face more extreme weather events, and potentially worse impacts. The data collected by these scientists tells us the impacts of oil sands development, and helps farmers, fishers, and health practitioners prepare for variations in climate. Scientists tell us whether our water is safe for our families to drink. Liberals believe that Canada needs more scientists within Environment Canada not fewer – but clearly the Conservatives disagree.”