700 Environment Canada jobs on the chopping block

Meteorologists, scientists, chemists and engineers are among more than 700 Environment Canada employees on the chopping block as the department launches sweeping cuts to cope with federal belt-tightening.

The shakeup could be a taste of further cuts in other departments to come as the Conservative government reins in spending to eliminate a $32 billion deficit.

The cuts represent 11 per cent of the workforce at Environment Canada, calling into question the department’s ability to carry on its mandate, said Bill Pynn, national president of the Union of Environment Workers, which represents 476 of the affected workers.

“It’s massive,” Pynn said, saying he can’t recall cuts of a similar scale in Ottawa in the last two decades.
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Feds silence scientist over salmon study

Top bureaucrats in Ottawa have muzzled a leading fisheries scientist whose discovery could help explain why salmon stocks have been crashing off Canada's West Coast, according to documents obtained by Postmedia News.

The documents show the Privy Council Office, which supports the Prime Minister's Office, stopped Kristi Miller from talking about one of the most significant discoveries to come out of a federal fisheries lab in years.

Science, one of the world's top research journals, published Miller's findings in January. The journal considered the work so significant it notified "over 7,400" journalists worldwide about Miller's "Suffering Salmon" study.
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Great Lakes steward lets down public

Editorial in Port Huron Times Herald, February 18, 2011... Read more »

Food security advocates join Melancthon quarry fight

Opposition to the proposed 2,316-acre quarry in Melancthon has spilled outside of  Dufferin County, as three organizations voice their concern for the pit's possible punch to food sustainability.

Sustain Ontario - the Alliance for Healthy Food and Farming, Food Secure Canada and the Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC) issued a joint news release supporting efforts to stop The Highland Company's plan to transform farmland into an aggregate mine.

"Clearly this is an issue city people need to care about," Lauren Baker, co-ordinator of the Toronto Food Policy Council, said.

Read the whole story here.

Hydraulic fracturing concerns topic of public discussion

A public meeting is being held tonight to discuss the issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing and associated concerns.

"My main point for doing a public event, I'm really just trying to raise awareness about the issue," said Heidi Verheul, an environmental educator with the Atlantic chapter of the Sierra Club and a former Belmont resident.

Sponsored by the Sierra Club and the Maritime Aboriginal Chapter and the Maritime Aboriginal Aquatic Resources Secretariate, the session is set to run from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Visitor Information Centre in the Truro Power Centre.

Information to be presented includes scientific background associated with the risks of hydraulic fracturing. It is also intended to provide a forum for public discussion and to share community concerns.

Nova Scotia is currently conducting a technical and policy review on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the province.


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