Hundreds of job cuts announced over the summer at Environment Canada were not politically motivated and will not affect core services in the department, Environment Minister Peter Kent said Thursday.
... Kent also rejected accusations from opposition parties that the decision was deliberately imposed to muzzle scientists conducting research that contradicts government policies.
Environment Canada is planning to axe a monitoring network that is key to assessing Earth's protective ozone layer, according to a report in a leading science journal.
The British journal Nature says scientists and research institutes around the world have been informally told the Canadian network will be shut down as early as this winter putting an end to continuous ozone measurements that go back 45 years.
"Arctic ozone research by any nation depends crucially on Canada's involvement," says Markus Rex, at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany.
"Withdrawal of Canada will do major harm to international efforts in Arctic ozone research and such a bold step jeopardizes Canada's reputation as a reliable partner in international programs," Rex told Postmedia News via email.
I would have thought that a program that's been running continuously for 45 years and is regarded as vital to the efforts of the international community to deal with what is widely regarded as a serious threat to the environment would qualify as a core service. But what do I know? It's possible this has been floated to gauge the reaction to it. Let's hope that's all this is. But with this government on this issue, it's difficult to keep hope alive.