2011-08-04 15:03:45Environment Canada Cuts
Robert Way


See the following link

"The list of those affected includes two biologists, seven chemists, 45 computer scientists, 37 engineers, 19 meteorologists and 92 physical scientists."

Meanwhile the Conservatives are planning on spending 30 Billion on F-35 Fighter Jets, 11 Billion on "Mega" Prisons and just lowered the corporate tax rate.

 I think enough is enough and something has to be done... I don't know how though...

Also see:


2011-08-04 19:30:34


The second article points out that Canadian plans to respond to global warming are weaker than US plans. Scary! but that's what could be expected.

The only appropriate dimension of activity is political.

2011-08-05 02:50:42
Julian Brimelow

Bye bye employment opportunities.....but this is not about me.  This is about Canada's role in being a steward of the planet and its citizens.  This is a big step backward for everyone (not to mention the biospher ethat supports us), and from what I hear there are more cutbacks and losses on the way.  The cons are smart enough not to roll them all out at once.

2011-08-07 11:58:42working on an article series about Canada the 'climate criminal country' for international media
Stephen Leahy


I'm working on an article series about the "real" situation in Canada vis a vis climate change. And I could use your help.

Here's part of my pitch about the project to some editors :


The past five years Canada has been voted the most uncooperative country out of 193 at nearly every international climate meeting. As a Canadian I'm often asked why Canada no longer cares about the climate or our shared environment. It happened so often on my recent European conference coverage over the last couple of months I wished I had a preprinted card to hand out.

Home now and shocked to learn Canada is building some huge new coal power plants emitting millions of tonnes of additional CO2. Canada is also pushing hard to build the giant Keystone oil pipeline through the middle of the USA so it can triple the size of the Tar Sands (oil sands). There is another planned pipeline called Enbridge Gateway through the pristine Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. And sadly even more. 

With nearly 20 years covering environmental issues, and as a Canadian, I want to do a hard-hitting, investigative series of articles to dig out the truth about what is really going on in Canada.


It's not called 'Canada the climate criminals' - it's tentatively "Blame Canada?" There's more here http://stephenleahy.net/blame-canada

I'd like to post questions on this forum - some technical - to help me put the series together over next few weeks. I'm not sure if this is appropriate use of the sks forum but I welcome your input and help. 


2011-08-07 13:32:17
Andy S


It's a disgrace what's happening in this country on climate and resource development.

Steve, email me at agskuce@gmail.com there's some stuff I'd like to discuss offline.

2011-08-07 15:05:45
Julian Brimelow


Thanks so much for looking into this-- it is about time someone did.  I listened to a conservative apologist on CBC the other day and it made me sick to hear the misinformation and spin.  This post at DeepClimate, summarises the situation:

"Con supporters are trying to push the meme that everyone is tightening their belts, so EC must as well. Sounds reasonable right? No, what they are not telling people is that since the huge cuts in the 90s the unit has never quite recovered, and has in the interim also had to contend with program review after program review (i.e., more mergers and downsizing). They were cut down to the bone and have been doing more with less for a very long time now…the “belt tightening” began 15 plus years ago.

These new cuts will render EC pretty much useless. Scientists working there now, even though their jobs are not in peril are looking to moving to academia– they just cannot do what they need to do anymore."

And when they talk about downsizing by "attrition" what they do not tell you is that they are losing a hell of a lot of experienced scientists and computer experts etc. when they do that; expertise that the government has not been prepping (or training) others in the agency to replace.  So a huge knowledge and expertise void coming, and they are not even remotely prepared.  

EC has also delayed training new forecasters until next spring (2012), perhaps next fall, who knows-- they seem to be trying to buy time. As it is now they have two (plus a supervisor) forecasters writng forecasts and issuing watches and warnings for enormous areas.  For example, forecasters in Edmonton issue forecasts and issue watches and warnings for the western Arctic, Alberta and northern Saskatchewan.  Not too bad if there is only one area of severe or high impact weather, but a huge problem if there are multiple areas affected by severe weather at the same time, and with such a large area being covered that happens quite often. Compare that to the USA where they essentially have a weather office for the area covered by each NEXRAD weather radar.

And this is all before even dealing with the muzzling and endless hoops that have to be jumped through (everything has to be approved and signed-off on by upper management) when publishing a science paper in a journal, even if it is not about climate change. Officials are clearly more worried about potentially embarrassing the minister or government than they are about the science and perhaps inconvenient facts.  When speaking with the press, if that is even permitted, all answers provided by the scientist to questions posted (in writing which are then, IIRC, forwarded to the scientist by the comms office) by the journalist have to be signed off on and approved by the federal comms office and management.

In short, science in the federal government is under severe threat, and Canadians need to know that, and that they have a right to see and access the science that is being (or trying to be) undertaken-- right now, the government is denying the citizens of that right and is denying scientists the ability to do what they need to do in order to look out for the interest of Canadians.  Sadly, getting anyone to go on the record is impossible.  You have to figure out though how to get someone to speak on the condition of anonymity and to provide some documents/facts to support their statement.  Sorry, I am an outsider, so I cannot do that-- but as you have probably gather by now I know scientists working for the feds.

Maybe you can make a nuisance of yourself asking inconvenient questions of government scientists.  Maybe you could record conversations you have with the federal comms people.  Maybe you can, like Mike de Souza and others use FOIP to access information, I don't know.  but what i do know is just going about this in a routine manner you'll find yourself up against a brick wall very quickly, so some creativity will be required.  And if you do manage to get some dirt on them, be warned that they may try to make life difficult for you if you get something juicy.....Stephen H. and his pals do not play nice.

Good luck Stephen.

PS:  Rumour has it that shortly after Harper came into power with his first minority government, all pamphlets and brochures etc. that the previous government had printed for the public about Kyoto were ordered to be destroyed by Conservative government.  Again, a rumour, but probably worth looking into.

PPS:  You might also want to check who has been lobbying/meeting with the government officials tasked with the climate change file.  Tim Ball?  Tom Harris? McIntyre? McKitrick? 

2011-08-07 15:12:25
Julian Brimelow


Another idea--you might also want to try and hook up with DeepClimate and/or the folks at DesmogBlog-- they are well connect and very well informed, and pretty savvy when it comes to finding out stuff.

2011-08-08 03:37:05Gutting Enviro Canada is like tea party trying to ruin the EPA
Stephen Leahy


Andy, will be in touch.

Albatross - I remember the gutting of EC in the 1990s and know a few scientists who have been hanging on ever since. Truly surprised that the already hobbled EC that suffered faced numerous budget cuts over the past five years is now the first to face major layoffs. Speaks volumes - an echo of the US tea parties' attempts to get rid of the EPA.  Thanks for the ideas. 

2011-08-08 07:51:45
Julian Brimelow

You are welcome Stephen.  Don't hesitate to ask if you think i may be able to contribute or help with something.