Environment Canada cuts threaten the future of science and international agreements

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Abstract

In August 2011, 300 Environment Canada scientists and staff working on environmental monitoring and protection learned that their jobs would be terminated, and an additional 400-plus Environment Canada employees received notice that their positions were targeted for elimination. These notices received widespread coverage in the Canadian media and international attention in Nature News. Environment Canada is a government agency responsible for meteorological services as well as environmental research. We are concerned that research and observations related to ozone depletion, tropospheric pollution, and atmospheric transport of toxic chemicals in the northern latitudes may be seriously imperiled by the budget cuts that led to these job terminations. Further, we raise the questions being asked by the international community, scientists, and policy makers alike: First, will Canada be able to meet its obligations to the monitoring and assessment studies that support the various international agreements inTable 1? Second, will Canada continue to be a leader in Arctic research.

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