Parliamentary Budget Officer say Budget for Arctic patrol ships “insufficient” Publish Date: 04-NOV-2014 09:21 AM There's a fresh spat brewing between the Parliament's top bean counter and the Conservative government, this time over Arctic patrol ships. Parliamentary budget officer Jean-Denis Frechette said there's little chance the government can afford to buy between six and eight vessels on a budget of $3.1 billion. Frechette said that's only enough money to pay for four Arctic patrol ships — and even then, there's only a 50 per cent chance the vessels get built on that budget.
Budget Bill: Government refocuses public health czar’s job Publish Date: 23-OCT-2014 08:40 AM The Conservatives plan to create a new public health czar to focus solely on advising the government on public health issues.The move is part of the sweeping changes introduced in the Conservatives’ latest budget implementation bill, which was tabled in Parliament Thursday… But Daviau wasn’t as optimistic about the Conservatives’ plans for a Canadian High Arctic Research Station in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, which she said was an inadequate attempt to replace Canada’s northernmost research lab, the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) in Eureka, Nunavut.
The future of Canada’s polar research uncertain as season of exploration ends Publish Date: 05-OCT-2014 11:37 AM Built in 1979 (when it was called the Franklin) the Amundsen was retooled and rechristened for Arctic research starting in 2003 with funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. Since then, scientific activities on the ship have been co-ordinated through ArcticNet, a multi-institution research consortium that is headquartered at Laval University.
Scientists aboard the Amundsen operate in dangerous conditions while researching sea ice Publish Date: 28-SEP-2014 09:46 AM When Arctic sea ice makes the news, the focus is inevitably on quantity. The amount of ice on the ocean in summer is shrinking by 14 per cent a decade, a well-documented effect of climate change. The prospect of a largely ice-free Arctic by mid-century, the impact that will have on the northern environment and its potential effects on weather patterns in much of North America and Eurasia, have raised the profile of sea ice to iconic status in the continuing debate over how the human causes of climate change should be addressed. But for those who study sea ice, what matters most day-to-day is quality rather than quantity.
2014 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Sixth Lowest on Record Publish Date: 22-SEP-2014 09:08 AM Arctic sea ice coverage continued its below-average trend this year as the ice declined to its annual minimum on Sept. 17, according to the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado, Boulder.Over the 2014 summer, Arctic sea ice melted back from its maximum extent reached in March to a coverage area of 1.94 million square miles (5.02 million square kilometers), according to analysis from NASA and NSIDC scientists. This year’s minimum extent is similar to last year’s and below the 1981-2010 average of 2.40 million square miles (6.22 million square km).
Franklin expedition discovery shows change in Arctic Publish Date: 12-SEP-2014 11:42 AM The discovery this week of a shipwreck from the doomed Franklin Expedition shows how much conditions in the Arctic have changed since they set out in 1845. John Franklin and other explorers at the time were unable to make it through the Northwest Passage because of impenetrable ice. Now, cruise ships are offering luxury tours of the area.
Canada scrambled for data to back North Pole claims, documents show Publish Date: 13-AUG-2014 10:15 AM Federal bureaucrats were left scrambling to find more data to support the Conservative government’s controversial claim to the North Pole last December, according to internal documents. The documents reveal the federal government rushed through a $7-million icebreaker upgrade earlier this year to gather more data to back the Conservatives’ claims.
Huge waves detected in Arctic waters for 1st time Publish Date: 01-AUG-2014 08:14 AM Waves rearing as high as the second-floor windows of a building have been detected in the Beaufort Sea for the first time. Arctic waves are normally kept in check by sea ice, which has traditionally covered large areas of the Arctic Ocean even in the summer. But warmer temperatures as a result of climate change are melting away more and more of that ice.
Arctic oil spills likely to spread across borders: study Publish Date: 28-JUL-2014 08:30 AM World Wildlife Fund study used computer models to predict how oil spills would behave in Beaufort Sea. New research suggests a major oil spill in Canada's western Arctic would likely spread quickly and foul oceans around Alaska and possibly as far west as Russia. The research, funded by the World Wildlife Fund, comes as the National Energy Board prepares to consider blowout prevention plans in two separate proposals for offshore energy drilling.
L’Arctique à risque (French) Publish Date: 26-JUL-2014 10:26 AM Si un déversement majeur de pétrole devait se produire dans l’ouest de l’océan Arctique au Canada, les répercussions environnementales pourraient se manifester jusqu’en Russie, selon une nouvelle étude. Ces conclusions sont présentées par la division canadienne du World Wildlife Fund (WWF) alors que l’Office national de l’énergie se prépare à étudier des scénarios préventionnistes pour deux projets distincts d’exploration de pétrole dans la mer de Beaufort menés par la Pétrolière impériale et Chevron.
Seven Steps Back for Canada’s Natural Defence Publish Date: 19-MAR-2014 02:32 PM Canada once was an active environmental leader, helping coax other nations into such landmark international measures to protect the planet as the Montreal Protocol to defend the ozone layer.
That was then. This is now. Canada walked away from the Kyoto Protocol in 2011. Now, the Montreal Protocol appears to be one of seven important international conventions to prevent the spread of hazardous toxins and other pollutants that the Conservative government quit "engaging" on in recent years.
Ending Science Publish Date: 19-FEB-2014 08:57 AM It’s a sobering report: the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada’s “Vanishing Science” outlines how the federal government seems intent on erasing the nuisance of scientists and fact-based decision making. Since 2008, federal budget cuts have seen more than 2,000 federal science jobs simply disappear — a raft of cuts seem designed to make sure facts don’t get in the way of government dogma.
Rapidly warming Arctic may be causing our polar-vortex winter Publish Date: 15-FEB-2014 03:34 PM The rapidly warming Arctic may be behind persistent weather patterns half a world away, including our polar-vortex winter, the U.K.’s relentless rain, and droughts in the American southwest, according to a “controversial” new theory. The theory, which Francis presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Chicago on Saturday, is still contentious. “This is a very new research topic . . . and it has ended up triggering a lot of discussion in our scientific community,” she said.
Éditorial – Les Néoconservateurs (french only) Publish Date: 14-FEB-2014 03:31 PM Les conservateurs ont été de véritables précurseurs lorsqu'ils ont jeté les bases d'un gouvernement qui s'appuie sur la science et la raison. Cent ans plus tard, ils se sont transformés en fossoyeurs de cet État moderne en sapant les bases scientifiques de l'appareil fédéral.
Why NEB’s Gateway Report is Vulnerable to Legal Assault Publish Date: 20-JAN-2014 11:01 AM The federal Joint Review Panel report recommending Ottawa approve Northern Gateway has a number of flaws, errors and misrepresentations. The issues are serious enough that several environmental groups and two First Nations have asked the federal court for a judicial review.
CFIA Consultations and Canadian Food Safety (PDF)
Publish Date: 19-DEC-2014 02:44 AM
As part of the 2014 CFIA Consultations, the Professional Institute of The Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) has submitted a detailed analysis of each of the following proposals:
Scientists Rally in Support of Federal Research
Publish Date: 27-NOV-2014 11:16 AM
On the morning of October 22, researchers and science staff from Natural Resources Canada, Agriculture & Agri-food Canada and the Department of National Defence demonstrated in Québec city at the entrance of Université Laval in support of research in the federal government.
The Canada First Research Excellence Fund seems to be the Harper government’s response to fierce criticism about its science policies. It was announced with much fanfare last week (although it had appeared in the spring budget) by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as an unprecedented investment to strengthen Canada’s position in the world of science. But it came on the heels of an uproar in the scientific community over the imminent shuttering of a world-class science facility at the University of Ottawa, highlighting precisely what many critics believe is wrong with the Conservatives’ approach to science.
Irrités par les interventions du gouvernement Harper, les scientifiques fédéraux ont concocté un répulsif inusité: des clauses à insérer dans leur convention collective. Reste à voir si le remède sera homologué.