Cuts Undermine Environment Canada’s Mandate To Enforce Clean Air Regs

"OTTAWA — The Harper government’s budget cuts to scientific research at Environment Canada have compromised the department’s capacity to crack down on cancer-linked pollution and its mandate to enforce clean air regulations, say enforcement officers in a collection of internal emails obtained by Postmedia News."

"As the government continues consultations with the oil and gas industry on regulations to address rising heat-trapping greenhouse gases, the emails, exchanged between Environment Canada enforcement officers from various regions including Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver, said that the government was eliminating the only Canadian group capable of writing and supervising credible testing methods for new and existing rules to impose limits on pollution from smokestacks.

One officer from Montreal noted that some recently adopted regulations controlling the release of a chromium compound — that Environment Canada says is “known to cause cancer in humans” — could not be enforced without support from the group of scientists, which was disbanded by the federal government following Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s 2012 budget."

Mike De Souza reports for Postmedia News March 17, 2013.

Source: Postmedia, 03/18/2013