April 12th, 2012

New Democrats slam reckless environmental cuts

Hundreds of scientists in charge of environmental monitoring to lose their jobs

OTTAWA – The NDP is condemning the layoff of hundreds of federal scientists in charge of environmental monitoring, as part of the 1,500 government professionals who will receive notice this week that their positions will be affected by Conservative budget cuts.

“Doctors, biologists, chemists are being shown the door. These scientists monitor environmental changes that can threaten the health of Canadians,” said Hélène LeBlanc (LaSalle-Émard), NDP Science and Technology Critic.

The cuts will particularly affect the Environmental Emergency Response Section, which monitors dangerous materials found in the atmosphere, among other things.

The budget cuts will also affect 344 scientists and other experts at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 328 at Health Canada, 153 at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 137 at Environment Canada and 75 at the Public Health Agency.

“The Conservatives are no longer content with muzzling scientists. It’s as if they think environmental problems will simply disappear if there’s no one to report them,” added Megan Leslie (Halifax), NDP Environment Critic. “The Conservatives are wasting billions on the F-35 fiasco instead of protecting our environment.”

This second wave of cuts brings the number of professionals and scientists affected by Conservative cuts to 2,000.

“The Conservatives are making bad choices. They’re showing once again that the environment is far from being a priority for them—and that’s not what Canadians want,” concluded LeBlanc.