Statement made on 16 February 2012 by Senator Nick Sibbeston
Hon. Nick G. Sibbeston:
Honourable senators, my question today to the Leader of the Government in the Senate deals with monitoring of the ozone layer in the Northwest Territories by Environment Canada. Canada has long been a world leader when it comes to monitoring the ozone layer and measuring soot and pollution that come to the Arctic from around the world.
A recent publication in a newsletter of the American Geophysical Union stated that government cuts to monitoring stations in the North and data reporting will jeopardize this capability. Soot monitoring is particularly important given Canada's commitment at Cancun to deal with the impact of this substance on Arctic warming. These cuts could affect Canada's contribution to four major international agreements, including the 1987 Montreal Protocol to reduce ozone depletion.
When he was in the North last summer, the Prime Minister indicated his sensitivity to the environment of the North when it was revealed to him that cuts were being made to reduce water monitoring north of 60, and I believe he reversed the department's decision in this matter. However, in this case, Environment Canada and the Minister of the Environment have been less than transparent when it comes to revealing which stations have been closed and which programs have been cut.
Can the Leader of the Government in the Senate tell me which monitoring stations have been closed, why the website that distributes data on Arctic pollution measurements has been taken down, and how this will impact Canada's international obligations?
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