Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukkaq recently released a report setting forth her ministry's priorities. They are: "conservation and restoration of landscapes, water and wildlife; information on changing weather patterns and minimizing threats from pollution." These priorities are supposedly part of an overall plan to provide "a clean, safe and sustainable environment while supporting economic prosperity."
But, Andrew Nikiforuk writes, funding for the ministry is being slashed. As usual, the Harper government's rhetoric doesn't match its deeds:
For priority one, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq promises in the report's introduction "to protect and conserve wildlife and habitat" by unveiling "a new National Conservation Plan to further increase protected areas, focusing on stronger marine and coastal conservation."
Yet the department will cut funds for wildlife and water programs by 19.2 per cent between now and 2016/17, including a 35 per cent reduction to biodiversity programs, and nearly 10 per cent reductions for water programs, ecosystem sustainability and enforcement.
The ministry's second priority is to improve information on changing weather patterns:
Yet Environment Canada's weather services will be cut by 17.6 per cent between now and 2016/17. Funding for timely weather forecasts and warnings, for example, will drop to $143 million from $166 million by 2017.
And, most laughable of all, the ministry promises to mitigate the effects of climate change. However:
Funding for climate change and clean air programs will fall to $55 million from $118 million, while the enforcement budget drops to $29 million from $41 million by 2017.
As a native Canadian, the minister should know that this government is full of empty rhetoric. That rhetoric masks its real objective, which is to destroy government institutions. She has been tasked with the job of sabotaging Environment Canada.