Major Cuts To Pollution Control Spending On The Horizon In Canada

A number of Canadian environmental policies and programs are facing significant budget cuts during the next year. Not surprisingly, reducing carbon emissions and air pollution are two of the areas facing the budget axe from Stephen Harper’s anti-science administration.

Environment Canada will endure a 14% reduction in funding (or $222 million) and the budget to combat global warming emissions and other air pollution will drop a massive 59% (from $240 million to below $100). Previously, global warming and clean-air funding:

“served to inform Canada’s domestic regulatory approach to greenhouse gas emissions, provide a platform to deepen engagement with the U.S. on climate change issues and enhance Canada’s visibility as an international leader in clean energy technology.”

Environmental and public health protection initiatives have long been targeted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has firmly opposed acting to regulate carbon emissions, despite the many high-level recommendations from his own advisors and in the Canadian Parliament to the contrary.

Since Natural Resource Canada will face a 21% reduction (nearly $1 billion), the extremely popular and highly effective home retrofit program (previously funded with $390 million) to pay for energy efficient upgrades will also be axed.

Gillian McEachern, the program manager for climate and energy at Environmental Defence said that the scale of these cuts severely undermines any possibility that industrial emissions of carbon will be regulated this year, or any time in the future:

“If they’re cutting the departmental budget by 60 per cent, we have to question who’s going to be around to write the regulations.”

Such cuts are not reflective of the scientific evidence documenting the need to curb carbon emissions and other pollutants that threaten public health. The Harper administration seems determined to ignore science, and that doesn’t bode well for the Canadian people or the climate that sustains all life.