Canada plans to break up a team of seven Environment Canada smokestack specialists who travel around Canada, measuring emissions and analyzing data.
The team's research has been used in development of pollution standards, assessment of pollution sources and measurement of pollution-reduction technologies. The team monitors pollution sources, including cancer-causing emissions from installations such as hospital incinerators, crematoriums, boilers, smelting furnaces, landfills and coal-fired power-generating stations.
They recently conducted research supporting federal efforts to produce a credible monitoring plan Alberta's oilsands sector pollution.
Thomas Duck, an atmospheric scientist from Dalhousie University in Halifax, suggested the cuts would jeopardize the government's plans to create a credible monitoring plan for the oilsands. "Why announce a (oilsands-monitoring) plan and then undermine your own ability to implement it. It's vandalism of our scientific capacity," said Duck.
The Canadian union representing about 6,000 environment workers has asked the Canadian government to reverse its decision, warning there are serious public health risks across the country emerging from the government's decision.
"If they're not monitoring any more, we don't know what level of carcinogens are being put in the air which (has) a huge link towards many different types of cancer," said Todd Panas, president of the Union of Environment Workers. "It just shows the government doesn't seem to be concerned with the health of Canadians."
View May 28, 2012 Montreal Gazette editorial
View May 26, 2012 Albatross coverage
View May 25, 2012 Post Media coverage
Post Media, Montreal Gazette